All the F1 teams opt to play it safe and run without FRIC suspension in Germany
Innovation
XPB.cc
Posted By: James Allen  |  18 Jul 2014   |  9:50 am GMT  |  45 comments

The F1 cars rolled out for practice today in Germany and the FIA has indicated that all the F1 teams have opted to run without the Front and rear interconnected suspension systems (FRIC), following the technical directive from Charlie Whiting last week.

“I can confirm that no car is fitted with a front to rear linked suspension system of any sort,” said F1 Technical Delegate Jo Bauer.

So what effect will this have on the performance of the cars? Most teams were able to do a day of testing at Silverstone last week without FRIC, so they have a sense of where they are likely to stand.

Speaking to many teams in the Hockenheim paddock, the feeling is that the difference will not show up as much here this weekend in Germany as it will in Hungary next weekend. That is because FRIC is most useful in mid-speed corners and on certain types of traction events, which are more common at the Hungaroring than at Hockenheim.

As for lap time impact, it will probably cost teams with the most sophisticated systems like Mercedes between two and three tenths of a second per lap, with other teams who have less advanced systems losing slightly less. Marussia also has quite a radical solution, so it will be interesting to see how they are affected.

One clarification from yesterday postings, which said that McLaren was a protagonist in this process –

Their role was more in the aftermath of Whiting’s technical directive, seeing to remove the systems now rather than seek agreement of all teams to continue until the end of the season, rather than initiating the technical directive itself.

Whiting was persuaded by general lobbying and by close inspection of the FRIC systems as they were evolving and decided to call the legality of the systems into question.

XPB.cc

Although cost is definitely a factor, as these systems are expensive to develop with some teams employing up to six engineers working on FRIC, regrettably there does seem to be a dimension to this change, which is aimed at closing the field up a bit.

We will get more of an idea of the effect of the change after the Hungarian Grand Prix next week, but it is unlikely to make a significant difference to the pecking order.

Featured Innovation
INNOVATION BRIEFING
technical innovation from tata COMMUNICATIONS
Previous
Next
Share This:
Posted by:
Category:
45 Comments
  1. Guy Williams says:

    I’m going to be the first today to say it. Stop meddling with F1! We have a pretty great season on our hands why can we can not just sit back and enjoy it?

    1. marco says:

      pretty great season ? are you smoking your socks mate … we have the two Mercs so far in front , that no one can challenge.. its one of the worst season in F1 !!

      1. Sidecar says:

        The racing had been better this year for sure.

      2. Chris says:

        Precicsely. It’s almost exactly like 1988, universally regarded as a terrible seas… oh, hang on…

      3. Matías says:

        Yeah, right, and when senna and prost crushed the other teams in the mp4/4 was also one of the worst season? If there’s dominance by a team, but such an intense, head to head racing by these team drivers, it’s fine with me!

      4. Andrew c says:

        We have two drivers in the same team allowed to race hard. We’re loving it. Did you prefer the RBR era of one driver domination? The FIA meddling in this is just further proof that they don’t care about the fans. Its ludicrous that they’ve gone and banned something get again in the middle of a season. If this results in a sudden change in form for some of the teams then its a hollow result and meaningless.

    2. colc says:

      Here here!

  2. kenneth chapman says:

    i will move slightly away from the full thread topic and remove the word ‘technical’ and concentrate on what is left….’innovation’. very simply put, what a great drive by suzie wolff. to slot that williams in 15th at her very first real test is excellent. well done suzie.

  3. Dai Dactic says:

    I remain ‘un-confused’ but bitterly disappointed . . .

    Personally, I don’t give a damn what rules they change and when, from now on.
    I’ve finally lost all respect for the people who ‘run’ this sport.

    1. Grabyrdy says:

      Absolutely. They haven’t even the balls to make rules. But then, there’s obviously lots and lots of politicking behind all this.

      What a shame that one team near the back, Marussia say, don’t run Fric. They can’t lose championship points because it’s pretty sure they won’t score any. And if no-one protests them (why would they ? – presumably only Caterham will finish behind them) then all the other teams can put it back on.

      Typical – something that would actually be useful and innovative for road cars (like McLaren’s turning brakes way back when) and it gets squashed for mucky political reasons.

    2. warley says:

      I lost my respect for them when they banned Senna!

      1. RacingFanatic says:

        This

  4. Morning James — Signed on early this morning to see if your site might be carrying any current information about Friday Practice because we don’t get any live TV feed of the German GP practice here on the West coast of the U.S. today. Consequently, am looking forward to your report(s).

    Apparently NBC will not allow the local cable outlets to carry the feed here until 11:30 a.m. on the morning of July 18th. The priority has been given to broadcasting the Tour of France bicycle racing over and over again this morning (no fault of that sport intended). At 3:30 a.m. local time that’s what is being broadcast up until 11:30 a.m.

    Thanks for all you do, but if there’s any way you have of getting the word to whoever it is that possibly cares about the F-1 image and fans in the U.S., please let them know about the very negative effect these broadcast policies/decisions have on fans in this part of the world. One would assume that whatever the advertisers are paying for their commercials is also severely diminished in the value they would anticipate their spots generating for their products as well.

    1. James Allen says:

      Sorry to hear that – I’ll find out what that’s all about

    2. Sebee says:

      Don’t feel bad, the Open is bumping F1 out of the premium live feeds in other places.

      Just another happening that leaves me unconvinced about North American F1 viewership. I mean, think about it, F1 is getting bumped for cycling and the actual GP is getting bumped for golf. George Carlin, what have you got to say about golf? :-)

      1. David Ramey says:

        They are moving the live feed to CNBC. The qualifying is another matter. It is many times more exciting than the race.

    3. Mitch says:

      After watching some of the live streaming of Le Mans a couple of weeks ago, I’m thinking the future is not with TV networks or patytv channels, but with who can get an online streaming subscription based system up and running.

  5. Sebee says:

    I’m now convinced that Alonso’s adventure at Ferrari will be championshipless. It will go down in history as a huge failure considering his apparent talent and resources. Does he bare some responsibility for it? When compared to Schumi, I think the answer has to be yes.

    1. David Ramey says:

      No. There are many drivers that are great like Hamilton too. Both have won many races but you have to have the car and DNFs are certainly not Hamilton’s fault. Webber should have won that first championship for RBR but luck is involved too.

    2. aveli says:

      excess six testing is no longer allowed.

  6. Pkara says:

    Moving further away from topic

    SHOULD RUSSIA BE ALLOWED TO HOLD A GRAND PRIX AFTER A BUK ANTI AIRCRAFT VEHICLE WAS USED TO DOWN A MALAY CIVILIAN AIRCRAFT & RESULTING IN THE LOSS OF INNOCENT LIVES?!

    Surely this has to discussed in a mature manner.

    ( I do hope this isn’t removed as it is a very pertinent question)

    1. Pkara says:

      Thanks James for allowing the post to stand

    2. Random 79 says:

      I guess it’s the same situation as the contention that has surrounded Bahrain for the last few years – if the FIA and teams feels it’s safe to go, they go.

      1. Sebee says:

        Random,

        You know my posts reasonably well. I like conspiracy theories. There is one “mother” of a theory in this one.

        Anyhow, you can be sure that the FOM convoy will have a full squadron MIG escort and will be one of the most protected deliveries into Russia if needed.

        If President Putin wants F1 to come to Sochi, mountains will be moved to make it happen. No one need worry about safety of anyone on the F1 circus. And like other GPs, Sochi will be a VIPs event only for TV consumption for all others.

        Now, onlto this Daniel guy…I have an inkling of a feeling that this Red Bull may come alive and Daniel could challange the WDC situation potentially in the 2nd half. Could it happen?

      2. Random 79 says:

        Not sure Sebee, but if RBR (and more accurately Renault) get their act together then I have no doubt Ricciardo can get the job done and personally I would love to see it happen.

        A more important question is can we count you as a Vettel->Ricciardo convert? ;)

      3. Sebee says:

        Random,

        I already said that Daniel is my fallback. Guy is super likeable and I was glad he got the seat next to Vettel. He makes it so easy to be all-in with RBR.

        But for me to be converted as you say, Daniel will have to register 4WDCs on the charts first! :-)

    3. nenny says:

      who said Russia did it, they export there weapons to a number of country’s, so lots of people have access to alot of hardware, so go back to motive to find your main suspect, who gains the most for this absolute tragedy to accrue…Ukraine… i hope it wasn’t approved by the PM, but some left wing movement there but they have the most to gain.

      PS, my condolences to the family’s who lost someone on that flight

      1. Pkara says:

        I think you have missed the point . Russia have been arming the rebels in Ukraine & providingthem with a regular stream of eequipment including the BUK anti aircraft missle laucher. The countries that have lost their citizens in this act of terror all agree that the Russians are arming the Rebels in Ukraine. So I have no idea where or how govt controlled your media is in your country.
        There is no conspiracy thoerists involved within our news organizations in the UK. Its of a high standard unless its Murdoch based then you normally check the BBC news feeds for a more accurate account.

      2. James Allen says:

        It is emerging that many people in F1 have lost someone they know on that flight, especially the Australians who work in the sport

        Some really tragic stories and a lot of anger that the investigators are not being allowed access to the crash site and that bodies are just lying there

  7. mitchw says:

    F1=FRIC1

    This lot are imposters, pretending to be racers. Don’t bother with the colorful costumes anymore, eh? I feel like a fool paying attention and will schedule my grocery shopping for quali. Prolly follow the Sunday afternoon “lap countdown” online to some extent, pathetic idiot that I still am. I’m actually ashamed to follow this series.

  8. Paddy says:

    James, different subject. Should the Russia GP go ahead??? I would think not. How do you think the sport would be perceived if the race did go ahead? Would welcome to hear your thoughts.

    1. James Allen says:

      Their representatives are here in Germany this weekend.

      It looks an exciting track, but there is no question the geo-political situation makes everything very difficult and we’ll have to see what the outcome is of this downing of the Malaysian Airlines flight.

    2. Pkara says:

      The Russian GP should be cancelled.
      The families who have lost people in this tragic incident would not think it right to have such an event to continue. Especially if you see big Russian Political individuals handing out trophies.
      The next big Football tournament should also be taken away from them by FIFA .
      Simply a tragic shocking sad incident on a global level.

      1. RacingFanatic says:

        Why are you so desperate for the GP to be cancelled? Don’t you want to see an extra race this season? Who cares about political correctness blablabla that’s why we enjoy motor-sport, to get away from all that BS.

        Besides, the case could be made for most of the Eastern – Middle/Eastern World, having a GP in America is offensive and unsafe considering the amount of misery that has been caused in those regions over the years.

        At the end of the day, we all follow racing because we love it and its something positive that people can get together and enjoy etc… Why would you want to cancel a GP just because you don’t like Russia? As long as safety isn’t a concern I don’t see any valid reason not to have the Russian GP.

  9. Jeff says:

    I have several questions;
    1. What is a traction event?
    2. How do you remove a FRIC system? Is there just a linkage that you take out, or is it more involved? How so?
    3. How is Marussia’s solution so radical?
    4. Will there be a specific article written just to highlight the various FRIC solutions? Because that would be awesome.

  10. Andrew c says:

    Does anyone just wish that the FIA would get out of the way and maybe actually listen to the fans and stop meddling? Its frustrating helpelessly watching them ruin F1 and gloat about cost cutting ideals when they act to the contrary.

  11. deancassady says:

    “…it is unlikely to make a significant difference to the pecking order.”
    I dunno, James.
    Practice doesn’t necessarily reflect the real order, but Ricciardo is only a tenth down, and we haven’t seen how the hot tarmac will interact with the less pampered rubber across an entire stint.

    I think there are going to be changes in the pecking order, and these two races, Germany and Hungary, will show us the state of affairs before the ‘breal’. (Durring which teams will be revamping their suspension and power systems, to be certain).

  12. VV says:

    James: if a team did (hypothetically) choose to run FRIC, where would any protest come from? Would it come from the FIA (Whiting/the stewards) or from another team? If it did come from another team, how would they know that the team they were protesting were using FRIC?

    (Please excuse the daft questions.)

    1. James Allen says:

      From another team

      They have ways..

    2. Opa says:

      Good question. F1 is often so hermetic. And someone asks why the sport is not so interesting as before.

  13. Random 79 says:

    The FIA should stop meddling in the middle of a season, but the important thing is that there should be no stupid post-race protests interfering with and undermining the results.

  14. janis1207 says:

    Changing the rules on such an important aspect of the car mid-season is just pathetic.
    Once again, in order to produce “spectacle”, sporting principles are thrown out of the window. Sadly, this development sits nicely in a row with the DRS, trick tyres and double points GP.
    F1 used to have a rather intelligent and stable TV audience. Can’t help thinking these developments are meant to attract a much dumber “general audience”. The problem with this, of course, is – the more intelligent audience will then move away from this WWF’ed F1. And then every year even more gimmicks will be required to keep the channel clickers happy… .

  15. Glen says:

    It is time for Charlie Whiting to leave F1.

  16. JakobusVdL says:

    An alternative view point
    The FIA (charlie whiting) called the teams on their use of FRIC, suggesting they are being used to manage aero, not just mechanical stability. Which would be against the rules.
    The teams couldn’t agree not to protest the systems if they were left in place.
    ALL the teams have removed the systems
    Do we still think the systems were legal?

  17. Kristiane says:

    It was never like this before, but it seems like banning is now the new way to handle controversial things.

    Can someone from the teams complain about Charlie / Bernie, so that they can be banned, in turn we don’t get double points, stupid handling of rules and safety cars, etc in races?

LEAVE A COMMENT

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>

Top Tags
SEARCH Innovation
JA ON F1 In association with...
Download the chequered flag podcast today
Download the chequered flag podcast today
Multi award winning Formula One photographer
Multi award winning Formula One photographer