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Tyrrell tests exciting new suspension

The Tyrrell team began testing its new Tyrrell-Yamaha 023 car with its revolutionary "Hydrolink" suspension system at a wet Silverstone, England, last week.

The team launched the new car in London and then went straight to a wet and windy Silverstone where Ukyo Katayama tried the car, completing a total of 50 laps over the three-day test. Because of the bad weather, Ukyo was unable to draw any firm conclusions but said that the 023 felt very nimble and reliable.

The team begins testing at Paul Ricard in the south of France this week, with other teams keen to see how the new suspension system performs. There are no details of what Hydrolink is except that it involved high-speed hydraulics designed to greatly enhance the mechanical grip of the car.

Tyrrell's technical managing director Harvey Postlethwaite argues that rather than trying to find small aerodynamic gains from unusual wings (the McLaren route), Tyrrell has concentrated on replacing the aerodynamic grip lost because of regulation changes by good old-fashioned mechanical grip.

The Hydrolink system has been developed by Tyrrell engineers at Ockham, England, in cooperation with a second team of boffins at Fondmetal Technologies in Italy.

Tyrrell, incidentally, did not name Mika Salo as its second driver at the launch of the 023, but the Finn is still expected to be Katayama's partner once negotiations are finished. If the talks break down, the team will take either JJ Lehto or Emmanuel Collard.

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