F1: Hamilton and Bottas take the W12 Mercedes around Bahrain
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Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff has said “we love the fact they are spending time on these things” following rumours Red Bull have lodged another complaint about his team to the FIA. Michael Schmidt, of Auto Motor und Sport, said on his YouTube show ‘Formula Schmidt’ that Red Bull has contacted the authorities over Mercedes’ alleged “trick” to bypass Formula 1 engine regulations. Schmidt said they believe Mercedes have placed temperature sensors on their car in a certain place, enabling the W12 to pass FIA temperature tests.
Wolff, 49, was unfazed by the speculation, and said his team would happily accomodate any kind of investigation.
“Well we love the fact that they are spending time on these things and researching!” he said.
“We welcome very much any initiative they wish to do to look at it. That is a distraction. For any other team, that’s good.
“Absolutely used to it and it’s the normal course of events.”
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Schmidt stopped short of endorsing Red Bull’s accusations, but did explain why there could be a perceived advantage for Mercedes.
“Red Bull has claimed they have lodged a complaint at the FIA and Ferrari are also said to be involved, but they say nothing about this,” he said.
“Apparently, Mercedes has a trick that is legal at first. They somehow manage to cool down the air in the plenum (air distribution area of an engine), at least in the acceleration phase, and that gives significantly more horsepower during that phase, not so much towards the end.
“That could be true if you see how the Mercedes come out of the corners.”
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Schmidt doesn’t belive the complaint will be upheld though.
“I think the trick is legal, but it’s about where the sensors measure the temperatures in the plenum because there is only a certain temperature allowed,” he added.
“I think that will be cleared up in the next two or three races. If we don’t hear anything, I think what Mercedes is doing is legal.”
Regardless, the saga is likely to further sour relations between Red Bull and Mercedes, with tensions already heightened after Red Bull had protests dismissed following a collision between Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen at the British Grand Prix in July.
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