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Why Wolff is convinced Mercedes sidepods are legal

Mercedes boss Toto Wolff has been discussing the design direction taken by his team after they unveiled a unique new 'sidepod-less' W13.

Mercedes boss Toto Wolff has claimed that data was exchanged with the FIA during the design process of their radical new 'sidepod-less' car, in order to ensure that it is race-legal. Lewis Hamilton's car was the talk of the paddock in Bahrain on Thursday morning as it took to the track looking almost unrecognisable in comparison to the version Mercedes used in Barcelona. The W13's new design direction has seen the team remove the bulk of their sidepods in a move that's thought to allow more air to flow over the top of their intricate floor. It certainly caught the eye, with Red Bull boss Christian Horner already making clear that his team are watching closely . But Wolff is adamant that the design is legal, even if Mercedes are alone in adopting it.

Wolff: FIA were involved in design process

"The process is very clear," said Wolff, speaking to select members of the media in Bahrain, including RacingNews365.com . "When you go in a specific development direction, the team are having the FIA part of scrutinising it. "You're exchanging data and you're making them part of the process. "I think the car, we are really proud of what we have achieved in terms of the concept, but now we need to make it go fast."

Mercedes not yet sure if sidepod-less design in a winner

Despite making headlines with their new-look design, Mercedes are yet to assess the performance data that hold the answers as to whether or not the concept is a winner. Hamilton spent much of the morning putting in the laps, 62 to be precise, and not pushing his W13 to see how fast it could go. "We're experimenting a lot with what we've done during the day and are approaching it with curiosity," said Wolff. When asked if it is performing as expected, he continued: "You can't really say that. I think there are issues that are linked to Bahrain; it's very hot and you see a lot of cars bouncing along on the straights or the through the corners, so it's a tuning question."

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