Mercedes forced to modify suspension detail

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F1 Grand Prix, GP Portugal, Autódromo Internacional do Algarvept

Mercedes and Racing Point have been asked to change the rear suspension detail at Melbourne after rival team Red Bull made complaints over its legality.

According to the technical regulations, all parts of the cooling intake elements must be within 160mm above the centre of the rear wheel. After Mercedes seemed to be the dominant force during pre-season testing, Red Bull analysed the rivals' car, the W11 thoroughly, discovering that the Anglo-German outfit's engineers went a bit too far with the design of the rear brake ducts.

As a response to Red Bull's complaint, the governing body issued a technical directive, the TD 014/20, forcing not only Mercedes, but also Racing Point that uses the rear suspension of Mercedes' 2019 car to make tweaks to the suspension design.

With Racing Point also been forced to make alterations, it seems that Mercedes' solution from 2019 seems also to contradict this rule, but it has remained unnoticed last year. However, with the Anglo-German outfit introducing an innovative rear suspension for its W11, the back end of the car has been in the center of attention during pre-season.

The picture below shows that the Brackley based squad has gone for an adventurous suspension layout in order to free up aerodynamic development opportunity. According to the Technical Director James Allison the thinking behind the aggressive suspension layout was "to mobilise a raft of secondary aerodynamic gains both during the winter and, we hope, across the season to come."

Forced to back off?

Mercedes was involved in another battle against Ferrari and FIA that now seems to take a new turn. The governing body has conducted a thorough investigation into the legality of the operation of Ferrari's 2019 power unit. On the last day of pre-season testing, the FIA issued a statement in which it declared that it has reached a private settlement with Italian team.

Just three days after the announcement, the seven non-Ferrari powered team issued a letter to express their disappointment of the investigation. It is believed that Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff contacted the other outfits and pushed for action against the governing body. It has now emerged that Mercedes steps out of the war after the parent company Daimler's Chairman Ola Källenius talked to Fiat president John Elkann. The Sweden is reported to be in an internal battle with Wolff with the Austrian having gained a significant power inside the company.