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Mercedes denies cheating
Mercedes has denied that it gained an unfair advantage by increasing the power of its engine under the development freeze last year.

Red Bull's chief designer Adrian Newey recently said he thought Mercedes had improved the performance of its V8 while its opponents observed the FIA imposed freeze during the 2009 season. Red Bull, currently using Renault engines, looked into getting a Mercedes supply this year but was blocked by McLaren and Brawn. Newey reckons the advantage is worth "several tenths" of a second per lap.

"Mercedes developed very heavily through what was meant to be a frozen engine, whereas some of the others, Renault in particular, were very honest and said: 'It's a frozen engine, it's cost cutting, we won't develop further,' and they fell behind," he told The Observer.

"The fact is the Mercedes engine enjoyed a good advantage over the rest of the field last year. Lap time-wise it was significant; several tenths of a second. When you have to try and claw that back in the chassis, it's quite a big ask. So obviously we looked at the Mercedes engine. We also looked at the Cosworth engine very carefully. In the end, Brawn and McLaren blocked us from having the Mercedes engine, but we became very satisfied with staying with Renault in any case."

However, Mercedes has denied it broke the freeze in any way.

"Everything that our engineers do is strictly in conformity with the regulations and with the knowledge of the FIA. The FIA would gladly confirm this," a spokesman said.

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