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Top teams to protest Oz GP?

2014-02-21 11:33

TURBO UNIT ROW: Teams believe that Ferrari should add more substantial covering to its turbo power unit ahead of the 2014 Australian GP. Image: AP

MELBOURNE, Australia - A threat of team protests is hanging over the 2014 Formula 1 season-opener in Australia in March.

A dispute is brewing between F1 engine suppliers Ferrari, Mercedes and Renault. Teams believe the protective covering over Ferrari's turbocharger, which is three kilograms lighter than those of Mercedes and Renault, could be dangerous in  a race.

DANGEROUS, PERHAPS?

Mercedes and Renault argue that the Ferrari cover should be more substantial for safety reasons in case of failure and disintegration. Ferrari's explanation was initially accepted by the governing International Automobile Federation.

Ferrari's explained that its set-up didn't need a heavier cover because the turbo would shut down "at even the slightest sign of failure”.

Auto Motor und Sport correspondent Michael Schmidt said: "Mercedes and Renault are not satisfied that the federation is satisfied. Either Ferrari builds a stronger cover or there could be a protest in Melbourne."

Another option is also being considered by Renault and Mercedes - copying Ferrari’s solution and thereby saving 3kg in car weight.

Schmidt said: "The time until homologation on February 28 is however too short. It is now rumoured that Ferrari is strengthening the turbo housing, to be on the safe side."
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