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Renault R26 - mass damper system 28 July 2006

Not new, but the subject of much controversy in Germany, the damper takes the form of a free-moving mass inside a vertical spring. Its function is to reduce the sensitivity of the car's front end to differing load variations between high- and low-speed sections of the track, and to counteract the negative effects of rebound over kerbs, so as to keep the car perfectly balanced and hence - indirectly - improve its aerodynamic efficiency. The FIA has contested its legality on the basis that no parts exerting an aerodynamic influence may be mobile. However, the German stewards found no problem with it - a decision the FIA has appealed against. Hence, Renault could race with the system this weekend, but are thought unlikely to take the risk.