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Toto Wolff: Mercedes F1 T-wing could sustain hit from baseball bat

Valtteri Bottas, Mercedes, Bahrain Grand Prix qualifying

Mercedes boss Toto Wolff says his Formula 1 team has heavily strengthened its T-wing and is hopeful of avoiding another incident in Sunday's Bahrain Grand Prix.

The T-wing fell off Valtteri Bottas's Mercedes in Friday's second practice and caused damage to the floor of Max Verstappen's car when the Dutchman hit it with his Red Bull.

It was the second time the part has fallen off Bottas's car, following a similar incident in China last weekend.

The FIA asked Mercedes to prove the fix could guarantee there would be no repeat ahead of third practice earlier on Saturday, or the team would be told to remove the device.

The T-wing appeared on the car in final practice and qualifying with Bottas taking his first career pole position by 0.023 seconds from team-mate Lewis Hamilton.

"We fixed the problem," Wolff told reporters in Bahrain after qualifying. "It has been strengthened.

"You wouldn't be able to take that thing off with a baseball bat now, so it should be OK."

Red Bull boss Christian Horner, whose team does not run a T-wing, called for the device to be banned following Friday's incident.

When asked for his thoughts on Horner's comments, Wolff said: "It's clear Christian needs to do that.

"You're trying to take parts off from other cars that function.

"It's perfectly understandable - plus, it ruined their floor."

The FIA has hinted T-wings and shark fins will both be banned for 2018.

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