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Tyres give Renault insight on damper ban

Renault F1 chief Flavio Briatore has revealed that running on Bridgestone tyres for the first time this month has given his team insight into why Ferrari pushed for the mass damper system to be banned this season.

According to Briatore, rivals Ferrari were unable to make the device work due to the characteristics of the Bridgestone front tyres. This, the Italian claims, has led to chain of events that ended with the FIA banning the system altogether.

Renault began using the mass damper device at the end of the 2005 season, but mid-way through the 2006 season the FIA banned the system, saying it operates as a movable aerodynamic device, which is forbidden by the regulations.

While other teams were reported to have tried the mass damper system as well, Renault were most affected by the ban, with director of engineering Pat Symonds admitting recently that the removal of the device cost his team in terms of lap times and development.

But now Briatore has revealed that winter testing on the Bridgestone tyres has given Renault insight into why rivals Ferrari were unable to work with the device - and he believes this in turn led to the system's ban.

"Now we understand why they banned the mass damper all of a sudden mid-season," Briatore told fans at the Bologna motor show. "This is because it wouldn't work with Ferrari's Bridgestone tyres, as their fronts are too wide."

The FIA has never revealed what information led to the decision to ban the mass dampers, and Briatore initially accused McLaren and Ferrari of pushing for the ban. McLaren boss Ron Dennis, however, has denied it was his team that protested the device.

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