What was earlier a very small issue raised by Ferrari, has now become this year’s major controversy. Mercedes and their wheel rims have been brought to a lot of limelight by Ferrari which even asked the FIA to discuss it with the teams before taking any decision. Ferrari were quick to point out similarity with FIA banning them for Red Bull’s car in 2012 labelling it as a moveable aerodynamic device.
The FIA looked into the effects of the wheel rim designs used by Mercedes and found them to be in order with the regulations. Mercedes took a further precaution and stopped using the particular design voluntarily in USA and Mexico fearing protests from Ferrari.
Now it has been reported that Mercedes will again stop using wheel rim designs for a fear of Ferrari’s protest, as reported by Germany’s Auto Motor und Sport.
“Ferrari technical director Mattia Binotto told the FIA in Mexico that he considers the decision of the stewards to be wrong,” the report said.
This comes despite Charlie Whiting declaring: “It would just be a repeat of what we have already seen in Mexico.”
“I don’t think a clarification is needed because we’ve already done that, everyone’s aware of what we feel,” said Whiting, when asked by Autosport about it during the US Grand Prix weekend.
“I think there’s still a difference of opinion and that probably needs to be sorted out in the technical working group.”
Mercedes started experimenting with the current wheel rim designs ahead of the Belgian Grand Prix, when it first debuted the changed rear rims. It made further changes in Singapore, which made room for better temperature control of the tires.
The design got the attention of the rival teams, especially Ferrari which appealed to the FIA that its working was similar to Red Bull’s blown axle concept that was banned by the FIA in 2012.
Mercedes suffered with tire management during the last two races, possibly because of the different wheel rim designs. If their misery continues in Brazil or not, is yet to be seen.