F1 should never start with an even playing field. It's the pinnacle of motorsport and as such, technical innovation should always be allowed to influence the pecking order.
If you want evenly matched cars then watch a different formulae...
Everyone had the technical regulations for 2009 long before this diffuser row started & despite Mr Briatore's views, a team should never have to 'share' its innovations & technical advances - FOTA or no FOTA.
It's not like the reset button was only pushed moments ago. BMW & Honda for example, were both working on their '09 cars during much of 2008 and yet arrived at different solutions.
Sometimes a team finds a loophole & tries to exploit them. Everybody then raises their arms, makes official complaints & the offending team has to comply and then everyone moves on.
Eg: in recent years there's been Mclaren's 3rd pedal, Renault's Mass Dampers, Ferrari's bendy floors & flexi wings from several teams (including BMW who are seemingly incapable of paperwork!).
In this case, the fact that 3 teams independently made the same interpretation of the rules regarding diffusers means that the loophole is a pretty big one.
Should the FIA then force the 'offending' teams to redesign the back of their cars because the FIA Technical Delegates didn't make their rules clear enough?
Or should they just allow the teams to run the diffusers & declare them legal at the appeal hearing, thereby forcing the & other teams to play catch up?
The former would stifle innovation but level the playing field, the other would leave 7 teams fighting to catch up, potentially creating a more exciting season of motor racing.
I know which I'd rather have.
On another note, did Mr Briatore explain his Mass Damper system to the other teams before using it?
No? Well he should quit complaining then!
(image below showing diffuser difference & why Toyota, Williams & Brawn GP's are legal)