Drivers have been advised to stay off the outer kerbs around the Red Bull Ring following a spate of suspension failures ahead of the Austrian Grand Prix.
Nico Rosberg, Sergio Perez and most dramatically Daniil Kvyat all suffered problems during FP3 and qualifying for the Austrian race, leading to calls from some drivers – including pole sitter Lewis Hamilton – to make changes overnight.
However, following an inspection by FIA Race Director Charlie Whiting and GPDA president Alex Wurz, it was decided it is too short-notice to make changes to the kerbs, though an investigation has at least justified what caused the incidents.
Though the drivers have been told to stay off the chunky yellow 'sausage' kerbs, it is the harsh red kerbs that have ultimately caused issue, the constant vibration through the rear suspension and the oscillation of the tyres creating an 'unforeseen problem'.
The new kerb solution has been introduced for 2016 as a part of a standardisation that allows the Red Bull Ring to host MotoGP for the first time later this year and was first used at the Spanish Grand Prix. However, whilst this particular kerb is not used much around the Circuit de Catalunya, the frequency of the drivers running over the kerb around such a short lap is at the root of the issue.
As a result, drivers have been told to minimise running onto the solid red kerb in order to preserve their cars, but told the red and white kerb closest to the track surface will not cause problems.
Mercedes has reacted to the kerb issues by strengthening its rear suspension in an effort to prevent another failure, but with the Austrian Grand Prix set to start in damp conditions, the drivers are likely to be cautious on the painted kerbs anyway.