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Mercedes wheel rim debate of importance for 2019

Written by  Oct 24, 2018

The ongoing technical debate over the legality of Mercedes' rear wheel rims is of importance for next year's regulations, says Renault technical chief Nick Chester.

Despite being given the green light by the FIA earlier in the week, the German manufacturer opted to revert back to an old design for the race, which InsideRacing initially reported was at the request of the governing body.

Instead, it was the threat of a protest by Ferrari, who initially asked for clarification and disagreed with the response, which caused Mercedes' decision and a tricky race ensued with the old weakness of overheating rear tyres proving the main issue.

Now, ahead of the Mexican Grand Prix, a meeting between all the teams is expected even if the mind of race director Charlie Whiting the issue has been ruled on.

“I don’t think a clarification is needed because we’ve already done that, everyone’s aware of what we feel,” he told Autosport.

“I think there’s still a difference of opinion and that probably needs to be sorted out in the technical working group.”

For next year, however, Chester explained similar designs are likely to be more common as designers try to make up what will be lost with the changes to the wings and bargeboards.

“A lot of people blow through the spokes anyway, so it’s not something that is totally new, but people tend to blow further outboard,” he said.

“I think there will be a few interesting interpretations for next year.

“It is even more important with the 2019 rules because you are struggling to get the front wing to outwash the air as much as you would like.

“So if you can do more in the wheel it becomes even more important.”

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