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Mercedes strengthens T-wing

NEWS STORY
15/04/2017

Fact is, if it didn't contribute something, it would be there.

That's the way one has to look at the ugly T-wings that are adorning cars this season.

While Red Bull, led by aerodynamics guru Adrian Newey, has shunned the concept, most other teams have adopted the devices which give what should have been the aggressive look of 2017 the appearance of a Teletubbie.

However, other than the aesthetics, over the last two weekends the controversial devises have made headlines for other reasons, with Valtteri Bottas losing his T-wing in Shanghai and again this weekend in FP2 in Bahrain.

Indeed, the incident on Friday cost Max Verstappen and Red Bull track time and money when the Dutch driver ran over the errant device causing extensive damage to the floor on his car which had to be replaced.

In light of Friday's incident, the FIA called on Mercedes to ensure that it didn't happen again, warning that unless the German team could guarantee no further failures it would be asked to remove them.

"We fixed the problem," said Toto Wolff after qualifying. "It has been strengthened. You wouldn't be able to take that thing off with a baseball bat now, so it should be OK."

Asked about Christian Horner's claim that the devices should be banned, Wolff smiled.

"It's clear Christian needs to do that," he said. "You're trying to take parts off from other cars that function. It's perfectly understandable, plus, it ruined their floor."

FOM's technical boss, Ross Brawn has said the he is looking to ban the devices and 'dorsal fins' for 2018.

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