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F1 Austrian Grand Prix: Mercedes calls for FIA to act on kerbs

Mercedes and other teams call on the FIA to make changes to the kerbs overnight after they lead to three suspension failures in FP3 and qualifying.
Toto Wolff says Mercedes and other teams have called on the FIA to make changes to the kerbs around the Red Bull Ring overnight after three cars suffered rear suspension failures in FP3 and qualifying.

Nico Rosberg, Sergio Perez and Daniil Kvyat were all hit by suspension issues after seemingly damaging their cars on the newly-installed kerbs around the Red Bull Ring, which have drawn criticism for their harshness.

With Kvyat suffered a particularly heavy accident after his suspension broke at turn eight, drivers including pole sitter Lewis Hamilton have urged the FIA to consider changing them ahead of the race.

Indeed, with Rosberg suffering a grid penalty for a new gearbox as a result of the damage sustained in his accident, Wolff says he has approached the FIA to discuss making changes overnight.

“There is some discussion happening,” he said, adding other teams have approached Charlie Whiting too. “We discussed it during the session actually that we need to react quickly and trigger some reaction, but that is not an easy one.

“I don't know what the FIA is going to decide, whether they are going to take those sausage kerbs away or whether they are going to modify some of the red kerbs, stretch them, or fill them with concrete.

“I don't know but we've seen a couple of failures on various cars on various suspension designs and it's still failing.”

Discussing the reason for the failures, Wolff says the team is still investigating exactly why the suspension is bowing under load, but says Mercedes will strengthen its cars overnight within parc ferme regulations.

“It is a concern. The strange thing is at the beginning it seemed that we had spikes of loads, but once we analysed it there was not much load on the suspension. So it is some kind of strange frequency, oscillation on the tyre which makes the suspension break, we don't know what it is. It looks like it's the red kerbs that are new, which triggers that, so no answers here.”

Despite the damage, some drivers have expressed little sympathy for those affected, with Daniel Ricciardo saying the kerbs should be treated like a wall.

by Ollie Barstow



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