Championship contender Renault has followed the lead of Toro Rosso and removed its controversial ‘mass dampers’ ahead of opening practice in Hungary.
Sources in the Budapest paddock report on Friday morning that, following Toro Rosso’s failed presentation of the system to scrutineers on Thursday, and an updated letter from Charlie Whiting, Renault decided to heed the FIA’s advice to let the saga lie.
The tale first arose at Hockenheim, where Renault also decided to remove the system even after race stewards overruled Whiting’s claim that the device is illegal. Lead driver Fernando Alonso finished a championship-damaging fifth.
But the Spanish racer said in Budapest: ”Sometimes you notice (the effect of the mass damper), sometimes you don’t.
”It depends on the circuit.”
Bumpy Hungaroring, go-kart-like and notably uneven in some key braking zones, is understood to be one of the circuits where the reduction of ‘tyre-bouncing’ is most helpful.
After Renault introduced the system last September, the current ‘R26’ car was designed around the system.
Sources also report that while the stewards in Germany a week ago were receptive to the legality of ‘mass dampers’, they took a different attitude during Hungaroring scrutineering on Thursday.