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Friday, March 27, 1998 Published at 09:54 GMT

Sport: Formula 1

F1 split over McLaren brakes
image: [ McLarens, with the contentious brakes, dominated in Australia ]
McLarens, with the contentious brakes, dominated in Australia

Ferrari has issued a formal complaint against three other Formula 1 teams claiming they are using an illegal braking system.

The braking system allows drivers to brake front and back wheels separately. Ferrari allege that this amounts to a four wheel drive system - outlawed in Formula 1.

"We want to clarify what is legal under the regulations," said Ferrari's sporting director Jean Todt. "We do not have a problem with McLaren, only with the rules."

Ferrari is backed by Arrows, Tyrrell and Minardi. The Sauber team has issued a complaint against Jordan only.

The Italian team lodged complaints against McLaren, Jordan and Williams on the first day of practice for the Brazilian Grand Prix on Sunday.

Brazilian race authorities are meeting to discuss the issue.

The team's sporting director Jean Todt said the protest was aimed only at clarifying the rules.

McLaren insist the system has been approved "at every stage of development" by the ruling body, the FIA.

An informal protest in Australia was rejected.

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