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Mercedes cool with suspension ruling

2014-07-18 14:15

NO REAL EFFECT AT HOCKENHEIM: Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton believes that his car won't be negatively affected after the team removes its advanced linked suspension for the 2014 German GP. Image: AP / Michael Probst

ALAN BALDWIN

HOCKENHEIM, Germany - Mercedes' Lewis Hamilton says his team is unlikely to suffer any significant setback through the decision to ban the inter-connected suspension system at the 2014 German GP on Sunday (July 20).

Hamilton said: "I don't think (it will do) much at all. We may lose some time but if everybody is taking it off then everyone will lose pretty much the same. I don't think the order should generally change much."

F1's technical delegate Jo Bauer said after scrutineering on Thursday (July 17) that he could confirm "no car is fitted with a front-to-rear linked suspension system of any sort".

TEAMS TO DECIDE

Teams voluntarily removed their systems in case rivals without the trick suspension issued legality challenges which could have meant disqualification.

The systems, which stabilise the host car through curves, have been in use for several years but the governing International Automobile Association believes they have now been developed to the point where they are an aerodynamic aid and thus contravene the rules.

Teams were given the option of using them for the rest of the year, before a ban starting in 2015, but that required unanimous agreement which proved impossible to reach.

Nico Rosberg, Hamilton's team mate who is leading the championship by four points, felt there would be some effect but it was too early to say what it might be. Rivals agreed - but still hoped the change could narrow the gap between them and Mercedes.

Red Bull's quadruple champion Sebastian Vettel, winner of the 2013 German GP but without a victory so far in 2014, said: "I hope it brings the field closer to Mercedes but it's difficult to say. All teams have been playing with it to some extent.

"How much of an effect does it have? I think it has to be seen this weekend, and also probably next week in Hungary. After those two races, I think you can have another judgement."

Sauber principal Monisha Kaltenborn questioned whether it was correct to change the rules midway through the season: "It's just another point where we have a very unnecessary discussion right in the middle of the season."

"It doesn't create a good image for F1."

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