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Mercedes wants FIA to react to Austria kerb concerns

SPIELBERG, Austria -- Mercedes boss Toto Wolff believes the FIA should consider modifying the kerbs at the Red Bull Ring ahead of Sunday's Austrian Grand Prix after three drivers suffered suspension failures on Saturday.

Mercedes' Nico Rosberg was the first to experience a failure when his car's left-rear suspension buckled as he rode the kerb at Turn 2 in final practice. The Force India of Sergio Perez then suffered a failure at Turn 1 in qualifying before Danill Kvyat had a big accident in his Toro Rosso when his suspension collapsed at Turn 8.

The whole of the Red Bull Ring has been resurfaced ahead of this year's race, with new kerbs added around the track. However, the failures have not been traced to the harsh yellow kerbs that caused Max Verstappen's front suspension failure, but instead the more traditional looking red kerbs around the track.

"It is a concern," Wolff said after Mercedes analysed the Rosberg incident. "The strange thing is at the beginning it seemed that we had spikes of loads, but once we analysed it there was not much load on the suspension.

"So it is some kind of strange frequency, oscillation on the tyre which makes the suspension break, we don't know what it is. It looks like it's the red kerbs that are new, which triggers that, so no answers here."

Mercedes reacted by strengthening the suspension on both cars by wrapping the wishbones in additional layers of carbon fibre. Wolff said he has also raised his concerns about the kerbs with FIA race director Charlie Whiting.

"Yes there is some discussion happening. We discussed it during the session actually that we need to react quickly and trigger some reaction, but that is not an easy one.

"I don't know what the FIA is going to decide, whether they are going to take those sausage kerbs away or whether they are going to modify some of the red kerbs, scratch them down, or fill them with concrete. I don't know but we've seen a couple of failures on various cars on various suspension designs and it's still failing, I think there needs to be a reaction."

Robserg said he found the situation worrying.

"It's a vibration. A very unusual, never-seen-before vibration which comes only on that shallow kerb. So that's a worry because it's not something that we've planned for building the car. So not straightforward but they reinforced my car now in those fragile areas before qualifying."