MARCH 23, 1998
Ferrari to protest McLaren in Brazil
THE Ferrari Formula 1 team announced last Thursday that it will protest the two McLaren-Mercedes MP4-13s of Mika Hakkinen and David Coulthard after the Brazilian Grand Prix at Interlagos. Ferrari believes that the braking system being used by McLaren is illegal, despite the fact that the system has been given the go-ahead by the FIA's technical department.
Ferrari was seriously embarrassed by McLaren's pace at the Australian Grand Prix. The Italian team had claimed it would be battling for the World Championship this year but ended up around three seconds a lap slower than the British cars.
The Italians appear to think that McLaren is using a system which is similar to one used in various Mercedes-Benz models which links the steering with the rear brakes. In the production cars this is done with electronics but it seems that in F1 it is done by mechanical means, which means that it is legal. Ferrari is expected to argue that the system amounts to four-wheel steering which is banned under Article 10.4.1 of the F1 technical regulations.
Williams is already using a similar form of steering system, which was run by Heinz-Harald Frentzen in Australia and we hear that the Williams team is more interested in establishing the legality of the electrical motor-driven auxiliary engine pumps which McLaren is rumored to be running.
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