Formula 1

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Mexican Grand Prix stewards make decision on Mercedes' controversial wheels

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Mercedes have been cleared by the FIA stewards to use a new rear wheel design featuring holes in the rim following a request for clarification from the Northamptonshire-based outfit.

Firstly, it sought confirmation of the interpretation of the rule and legality of the part, and secondly, it wanted details of all changes to the FIA’s clarification to ensure the correct interpretation is achieved.

Mercedes was first spotted to be using the new design at the early stages of the US Grand Prix weekend in Austin, only for the team to then return to its regular design where the holes were covered for fear of a possible protest from a rival team.

Said fear came a reality when Ferrari's eyebrows were raised, and that was then followed by other teams raising questions as well.

It was then since cleared by the FIA that the wheels were legal and above board, but that hasn't stopped more questions being asked going into this weekend.

The FIA stewards in Mexico have since released a bulletin confirming that Mercedes had requested further clarification after receiving an advisory from the FIA technical department earlier this month.

“12.8.1 of the Technical Regulations permits spacers on the inboard mounting face of identical specification on all wheels for the same axle.

"Mercedes runs such a spacer on their rear wheels and in order to reduce the heat flow across the junction between the axle and the wheel, they have added a number of small holes and grooves for cooling,” the FIA report states.

F1 Grand Prix of USA

“The stewards confirm that should Mercedes run the part as described in the correspondence between Mercedes and the FIA’s technical department, the Stewards would consider this part to be in conformity with the regulations, but only with respect to the points raised in Mercedes’ request,” the statement concludes.

Valtteri Bottas to win the Mexican Grand Prix (16/1)*

The stewards’ decision can be appealed, meaning the issue could continue this weekend and as this ruling is made on a case-by-case basis, the issue could also be dropped and raised ahead of the upcoming Brazilian or Abu Dhabi Grands Prix.

*Odds subject to change, 18+, www.begambleaware.org

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Topics:
Valterri Bottas
Valtteri Bottas
Lewis Hamilton
Ferrari
Mercedes
Red Bull
Formula 1

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