How much will an FIA ban on FRIC suspension affect the order in F1?
Innovation
F1 suspension
Posted By: James Allen  |  09 Jul 2014   |  3:11 pm GMT  |  239 comments

Changing the technical specification of F1 cars mid season is never desirable, but there are clear signs that the FIA is planning to ban the linked suspension systems known as FRIC at the end of the year and may bring it forward to the next race if the teams aren’t in agreement.

FRIC stands for “Front and Rear-Interconnected” system, which links the front and rear suspension using hydraulics with the aim of improving ride stability; it helps F1 cars to maintain a better balance as the car goes through changes of pitch and roll angle. Essentially the engineers are trying to maintain a static ride height as the car pitches and rolls through corners.

This helps to give the driver confidence in the car and the real boost is that it helps make the tyres to work better. Spreading the load evenly on all four corners is very important with the Pirelli tyres.

This would require some re-engineering for most of the F1 teams, but as with Exhaust Blown diffusers, there are some teams that would suffer more than others from the change. However the impact of the loss of FRIC would be far less significant than the loss of the Blown Diffuser.

XPB.cc

The first thing F1 fans will want to know is; will it shake up the order and what impact will it have on the racing?

The answer, from discussing the situation with a few F1 engineers, is that the lap time difference from banning FRIC suspension will be around three to four tenths of a second, depending on how well the system is working on individual cars. Lotus was one of the first teams to use it but Mercedes was onto it quickly and it has certainly contributed to their competitiveness. However it is unlikely to make any real difference to the pecking order in F1. Silverstone showed that Mercedes still enjoys a significant performance advantage over the rest.

The reason why it was not so dominant in Austria, relative to Silverstone, is believed to be related to the altitude and the performance of the turbo, also to some prudence over cooling after the technical failures in Montreal.

How will it’s loss impact the cars and the racing? The main impact will be that it will lead to the cars taking more out of the tyres, which might push them into making an extra pit stop at some events. This year with the more durable Pirelli tyres we have seen several races become a one stop, such as Silverstone last weekend. Arguably it will be more difficult to do the 300km race distance on two sets of tyres at some venues, as the wear will not be as evenly distributed across all four corners of the car.

With the Pirellis, one of the key things to get right is to match the temperatures of the front and rear tyres. Again FRIC helps with that.

So why does the FIA want to ban FRIC suspensions now?
Because Charlie Whiting, who heads the FIA department which is responsible for policing the technical aspects of the F1 cars, as well as the operation of the race weekends themselves, believes that they have evolved to the point where they contravene the catch all technical regulation about “moveable aerodynamic devices”.

“Having now seen and studied nearly every current design of front to rear linked suspension system we, the FIA, are formally of the view that the legality of all such systems could be called into question,” he wrote to teams this week.

Whiting suggests that the way the suspension systems help control pitch and roll could be in breach of article 3.15 of F1′s technical regulations.

Speaking on Wednesday, McLaren team boss Eric Boullier said the FIA had acted now because, “I think some teams might have been extreme, which is maybe why the FIA is questioning the legality of this system.”

What happens next? In a classic piece of FIA positioning, setting the teams against each other, Whiting has suggested to the teams that it will be banned only from the end of the year, provided that all teams agree to that. If they cannot agree (which they rarely do on such matters) then it will be up to them to consider whether they risk using it at the next race in Hockenheim next week, as the FIA scrutineers and stewards may uphold any protests made against it.

XPB.cc

How does FRIC work and will it be easy to take off?
According to JA on F1 technical adviser Mark Gillan, when a car goes through a corner it goes through a number of movements; it pitches under braking, it rolls on turn-in to the corner and on corner exit. There are a lot of changes in terms of stability and ride height and a significant amount of downforce is lost as a result.

If you could make the car more stable through those changing dynamics and fix the ride height through those manoeuvres, you would make life a lot more easy. So a lot of innovations like this one are designed to produce a stable ride height through a manoeuvre, optimise aerodynamics and maintain downforce.

This has been the focus of aerodynamic development in F1 since the late 2000s, as wind tunnels have got more sophisticated. The challenge for the aerodynamicist is to assess the trade-off between downforce and smoothing out the ride and much of the work that goes on at F1 tracks in the build up to a race is focussed on getting a good compromise for the race weekend.

The FRIC suspension works by transferring hydraulic fluid from front to rear and it does so passively, which is why it’s legal – it’s not something the driver actively controls, it happens as the car moves.
This generation of F1 cars is very sensitive to roll, so anything that can minimise the roll angle is definitely a big positive. It’s very hard to say exactly what the gain is in lap time, but it makes the driver feel more confident and that is worth something as is the other major benefit in terms of the tyres. By making the car more stable and consistent, you will make it easier on the tyres. You have more load where you want it, so the wear is more even.

There would be a fair bit of re-engineering needed and the chassis will have been designed around FRIC in many cases, as it has been in circulation since 2013. Many of the wind tunnel development programmes currently under study will need to be revised to factor in the loss of the optimised ride height.

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

    These things have been on the cars since the start of the year. Why is Whiting only now complaining about them?

    Is he honestly expecting the teams to be able to redesign their cars in the week and a half before the German Grand Prix? I thought F1 was supposed to trying to cut down on unnecessary expense.

    The sooner Whiting is replaced the better.

    1. David says:

      I think this is a ridiculous idea. It’s not going to make any competitive difference between the teams. However it will lead to more tire degradation (again) and drivers once again nursing tires rather than racing. This has easily been the WORST aspect of Formula 1 in recent years, the stupid obsession with provoking tire wear and forcing pit stops. This year has seemed much more balanced, and now Whiting wants a return to more conservative driving, at the same time emphasizing the waste generated by Formula 1 as it forces more tire use and extra expense from the teams, Just mindless fiddling.

      1. Bearforce1 says:

        I dare them to ban FRIC mid season.

        It seems incomprehensible but there you go, F1.

      2. Random 79 says:

        No please don’t dare them Bearforce1, you know that will only encourage them more…

    2. Pkara says:

      Totally agree with. The cars with FRIC should be allowed to keep them as thdy are. Whiting is wring The F.I.A is wrong. Whiting should be sacked !! This is the pinnacle of motor racing. Innovative suspension system sholuld be allowed. To change the the rulings because some dufer application of rule whatever is absurd. In race 10 Whiting amazingly discovers that some cars ars not legal well I’m glad he isn’t running NATO defense systems or we’ll all be Star Dust by now !!
      Truely pathetic blind leading the blind !!
      [mod] the FIA need to be dismissed & a new body takeover with the ability to work in a objective way with new organizational ways to assess & adjudicate rules of F1.
      The only reason they are doing this is Mercedes will win the constructors championship in Singapore. So other teams will concentrate on 2015 cars & the rest of season will be a procession with only Lewis Hamilton & Rosberg racing each other !!
      [mod]
      Shocking change of rules halfway into 2014 !!
      I know what… lets stick a sack of potatoes on each car too & a roof rack with a windmill helping stability & downforce. The bonus of this would be at each pitstop the driver can hand out bags of flour. Thus easing their carbon ffootprint & feeding the world.
      [mod]

      1. Pkara says:

        I mean I totally agree with VV. The cars with FRIC should be able to keep the cars as they are. Sorry for first paragraph spelling & sentences are abit poor. Just angry at Whitinh et al. But hope people get the meat of the posting :-)

      2. Pkara says:

        Sorry James for going off the rails again. I think I’d best put on Bill Withers “Its gonna be a lovely day” before I post a heated text :-)
        Apologies for edging towards the ” Pit of Insanity”….again.
        I’ll get a shot of Lithium next time :-D

      3. GarryT says:

        Honestly I don’t think anybody actually reads the story and just carry on
        James says

        Because Charlie Whiting, who heads the FIA department which is responsible for policing the technical aspects of the F1 cars, as well as the operation of the race weekends themselves, believes that they have evolved to the point where they contravene the catch all technical regulation about “moveable aerodynamic devices”.

        The operative word is (evolved) to the point that it contravenes the regulation.

        Is it that hard to understand this, they already have precedents in place for enforcing mid season rules.

        They have done it before Flexi Wings Blown Diffuser any one

        FIA has been doing this since the seventies, what’s the big deal for decades the F1designers push the regulation limits it’s up to FIA to enforce the rules as needed.

        All the yelling and screaming comes from fan boys and girls who think their team is being cheated when the team they support probably is bending the rules anyway.

      4. Pkara says:

        FAO
        Gary T thank you for your advice regarding ‘reading the article’
        Heres me thinking I was reading
        ‘There’s a Wocket in My Pocket’ by Dr.Suess .
        Stating the obvious for us ‘Fan People’ does not change anything.
        Charlie Whiting is a making political statement to Mr.Todt regarding his employment & future in F1.
        Playing God by giving a vote to all teams on whether a evolutionary piece of technology can or cannot be used over the remaining season is pointless. Knowing full well some teams “will say no” because their systems are rubbish.
        Whiting is playing one team against another like Ming The Merciless.
        Cars altereing halfway through a season is not conducive to F1 the FIA cannot keep changing the distance between the goal posts adhoc .
        Simply listing changes from the past within a framework that fits your perception of what is right or wrong only dilutes the actual reasons why Whiting is flexing his feathers & flashing his plumage. His job is on the line whether its renewed or not depends on Todt. All of a sudden its FRIC next it will be the Mercs ERS system is too strong & that needs to go. Absurd…but thank you for the history lesson much appreciated.

      5. Dave says:

        I don’t agree with changing the rules mid season, but I also feel the need to interject and point out that grinding up potatoes doesn’t make flour. That comes from Grain…….

    3. Sebee says:

      Renault dampener?
      Blown defuser?
      Flex wings?

      Plenty of reasons to enforce things discovered mid season. It should be done. Also, a message for big teams to spend carefully as ROI may not be realized.

      1. KRB says:

        The mass damper ban mid-season was farcical. Banning blown-diffusers with immediate effect at GBR ’11 was farcical, shown by it being rescinded only one race after.

        Flex wings was a true and valid concern, and so the FIA’s deflection tests were changed to address the way teams had got around the letter and spirit of the regulations.

        I have no doubt that all the teams checked with the FIA first before introducing new concepts into their FRIC, to get a technical go-ahead before sinking a bunch of money and time into it.

        On another site, they claimed that this is some sort of power play by Bernie and Charlie, against both Mercedes and seperately, Jean Todt. Whiting’s contract as The-Guy-In-Charge-Of-Everything in F1 is up for renewal soon. Jean Todt apparently was not amused that Mosley gave Whiting a long contract just before he left. Whiting is Bernie’s bud, and perhaps this latest weirdly-timed Technical Directive is a lever to another contract for Charlie, who Todt would likely rather replace if he had his druthers.

        The sooner F1 is rid of Bernie, the better. Thanks for building the sport up in prior years, but now you’re a liability. Move aside.

      2. Matías says:

        can’t you see Ross Brawn filling Charlie’s shoes?

      3. Sebee says:

        Like I said below KRB, this is a repeated theme – some rule gets redefined, something gets changed, something happens mid season for most of the recent seasons to add a thrill. It’s F1′s MO. It usually needs to happen a bit ahead of the summer break so that media keeps F1 in circulation.

        2013 – tires
        2012 – flexi wings
        2011 – defusers
        2010 – breakaway threat
        2009 – double defusers
        2008 – crashgate
        2007 – spygate

        I don’t fight this stuff anymore. I surrender. Give me my 2 hours GP, I’ll do my treadmill time and then waste another 4 hours of my life between GPs on JAonF1. JAonF1 should have a sign on the top banner for me, No Loitering, No Solicitating!

      4. KRB says:

        Matias, I could see Ross take on that role, and I’m sure Todt would love to move him into that role. CVC have to cut the head off this snake, but then Bernie has the commercial rights, etc. Basically a new series has to be constructed, and F1 in its current guise cease.

      5. RobertS says:

        This is why the top designers in the sport are leaving and more are looking to the WEC and Le Mans for innovation, a shame really.

      6. erik says:

        To think about it, it`s beneficial to Mercedes. There is a development ban for power unit ( you can`t have any significant gain ), there is a aero side which has cut down significantly ( Newey is almost without a job ). So there is very hard enough to gain any significant laptime and now they want to ban something that can give some gain. This is bad for aero and Red Bull can lose the most there. So i afraid it will increase the cap between Mercedes and the rest.

        This year it seems like Mercedes wants to erase last 5 years from peoples memory. They want others to look like empty bags. It is hard to belive FIA is deciding alone here because previous years they wanted to level the field but now they have cars from different worlds. They can not be that ignorant.

      7. VV says:

        Umm, FRIC has been on the cars for years. This particular iteration has been on the cars for months. The teams would have run it past Whiting to make sure it was legal when they first stuck it on the cars.

        FRIC is not new. FRIC is not novel. They’ve already spent money on it. They can’t un-spend. In fact it’s the complete opposite now, as they’ll have to spend more money to redesign their suspension to work in a more conventional manner.

        The Renault dampener (as you call it) was equally well-known. The blown defuser (as you call it) was banned at the end of the season. Not in the middle of the season. Certain teams may have been warned from time to time that the flexing of their wings is borderline, but you show me a team that doesn’t rely on the movement of aerodynamic parts for performance and I’ll introduce you to Elvis Presley and Marilyn Monroe.

      8. Sebee says:

        First, everyone knows Evlis is alive.

        Second, I think KRB above has it right. Maybe Bernie isconcerned with the domination likes of which we didn’t even see with RBR last 4 years. It’s hurting the ratings – which are key metric. Sure, they are trying to drum up Lewis vs. Nico drama – but seriously, that’s about on par to me with wondering if my left or right pocket has more money. End of day, same pants. And so fans clearly see it’s but a coin flip in 2014 between two on same team, and no doubt about which team wins. Bad for ratings another words.

        So…why not bring Mercedes back into the clutches. They pretty much have this year already with the first 8 races performance they delviered, a bit like Brawin in 2009. Now let’s close it up for the second part of the year – Bernie is probably thinking.
        It does seem like Mercedes is the team with best FRIC, and apparently also have an advantage in their hybrid part of the PU, which is apparently also a target for reduction. Seems to me like it’s hunting season for Mercedes. And you know what, we’ve seen same happen to Red Bull and I was OK with it. What the heck is Lewis and Nico getting paid for? Throw in another 2 or 4 hunters to go after them. They are having it too easy. Someone needs to split up those two cars in the very least, if not outright beat them this season. If you think back, they did it to Ferrari, they did it to Renault…it’s a theme. Let’s not have too much of a run-away. Heck with it…at this point, with these silent PUs, ERS, DRS, sparks, these ant or penile noses does it really matter? Turn up the pressure on Mercedes!

        Now perhaps you guys see how damn smart Red Bull was. Mix it up first part of the season, then light it up after Monza before FIA and everyone can figure out what the hell happened, it’s over. Also, Bernie loves it because the fight hots up end of the season. Red Bull knows what they are in F1 for…marketing! :-)

      9. Yak says:

        KRB was right, the off-throttle blown diffuser was banned (or effectively banned) for Silverstone, but the ban only lasted one race after the mid-year change was protested.

    4. Chris M says:

      They’ve been on the cars in various forms for a number of years. This is entirely political, perhaps in order to give the smaller teams leverage over the top teams when it comes to discussing cost cuts. E.g. they’ll let the top teams keep FRIC to the end of the year if they agree to various concessions.

      Whatever the motivation, as with the banning of the mass damper mid season, it reeks of either incompetence or corruption on the part of the FIA and is truly a dismal advert for the long term future of this “sport”.

      1. dren says:

        Marussia has been running with FRIC for a while. All of the teams have it in some shape or form. It’s not something only the top teams run with. It also isn’t something that will shake up the order much. Banning FRIC now will hurt the smaller teams more because they will have to spend more money to redesign their suspension systems. The big teams can absorb it.

        The one and only reason why this is happening is money due to ratings. It’s a business first and foremost; a sport a distant second.

        It’s sad because the technology is why I watch. These bans mid season never cease to p** me off.

    5. PeterF says:

      To think that the FIA has taken how many days of testing and 9 race weekends to ‘discover’ that a system used by every team on the grid is actually after all is mid boggling. The term Village Idiot comes to mind for some reason. If F1 has the best and brightest racing engineers in the world, it has the least competent governance of any sport in the world to counteract them…

    6. Colm says:

      Totally agree – if they make that change mid season it will cost teams an absolute fortune to fix it. No wonder they are opposed to cost caps, knowing curve-balls like this can come swinging by. I wouldn’t say it is all Whiting behind this though – he is just the messenger.

    7. Kingsziito says:

      I hope teams that vote against the FRIC suspension are made public so that we would know which team(s) to hold responsible if the ban results to a serious crash, because most teams would be forced to race with untested suspension due to the ban.

    8. JB says:

      This joke is as big as the trumpet exhaust tested by Nico Rosberg earlier this year.
      First of all, I can’t even comprehend the fact that Whiting can consider this as movable aero. If Fric is movable aero then there should be no suspension in F1 cars because suspension moves the car up and down as well.
      Someone needs to school Whiting about basic understanding of how things work.

      1. grat says:

        Dear Mr. Whiting:

        It has come to my attention that all 11 teams current competing in the FIA F1 World Championship are in gross violation of the FIA technical regulations.

        Each team has at least two vehicles which should be classified as “movable aerodynamic devices”, and are actively using these vehicles in breach of article 3.15 of F1′s technical regulations.

        Please ensure that these movable aerodynamic devices which are harming the sport are immediately banned from use during race weekends.

        Thank you for your prompt attention to this matter.

    9. Gary Cunningham says:

      The last time the FIA played with suspension regulations two drivers died.

      1. Joachim Briere says:

        Aha!
        Now that *is* a great point!
        What prompted the FIA to get involved and who wanted it banned? Just remind me…..

    10. Steve Zodiac says:

      They have been around for 2 1/2 years, how come they are suddenly “possibly illegal”(he , Whiting, doesn’t even know”? Well it’s obvious, they have to do something to rein in the Mercedes advantage so they’ve searched high and low for something to take away and “Hey Presto!” this is it, It doesn’t matter whether it’s legal or not, just cast a doubt and the job is done. Are these new P.U’s actually legal? any one studied the rules about how F1 cars have to be powered? Perhaps they could cast doubt on having the Turbo Turbine and Impeller separate so as to slow those wretched Mercs down!

      1. Joachim Briere says:

        Great point, however the technology of Front and Rear interconnected suspension (FRICS) has actually been around for almost 10 years.

        As another separate point I like how most people miss off the S when writing FRICS, as it looks like poor grammar, when in fact it isn’t. It shows how much knowledge, or otherwise some (other, not you) people are who post on here.

    11. Erik says:

      I love how yet another technology that is road-relevant gets chucked in the bin. This sport just keeps getting better. Worse. Deffinitely mean worse…

  2. Aaron says:

    This is just another example of F1 making itself look stupid. By all means tell the teams it will be banned at the end of the year, but by threatening to DQ cars in Germany, unless all the teams agree (which is never going to happen) means that this will likely end up being decided in a court. I can’t think of another sport that so regularly ends up with issues being decided by lawyers.

  3. powersteer says:

    Is FIA serious? Are they trying to create another Roland Ratzenberger + Aryton Senna weekend by forcing such a drastic change on the cars mid-season?

    1. Chris M says:

      Indeed – two weeks notice given to the teams expecting them to race with modified suspension designs that will be untested and potentially unsafe, with aerodynamics possibly operating outside their designed for envelope. If there’s a serious crash at the next race because of these farcical political machinations on the part of the FIA then I hope they end up being hauled before the courts for criminal negligence.

      1. KRB says:

        No team will modify their design … they will run with them, and dare the other teams to protest the results. If the results are substantially changed b/c of it days afterwards, then it’ll be just another black eye for the sport.

        Maybe Bernie’s trying to drive down the value of the whole enterprise, so he can buy back control on the cheap?

      2. Danylo Furlani says:

        >”Maybe Bernie’s trying to drive down the value of the whole enterprise,
        >so he can buy back control on the cheap?”

        Now that’s a Mr. B kind of strategy right there.

      3. James Allen says:

        He said at the weekend he wanted to buy back F1

      4. Chris says:

        @KRB:
        [quote]No team will modify their design … they will run with them, and dare the other teams to protest the results.[/quote]

        Erm, I am reading reports that Merc and Red Bull have confirmed they are not going to run Fric at the German GP, sounds like Ferrari and Mac were the guys complaining. Get your popcorn, this could get silly.

        I personally hate mid season rule changes, all this talk of cost saving looks silly when the goal posts move mid season, how the heck does that save money?

        I hope merc extend their gap and stick two fingers up at the FIA on this one.

        Peace.

      5. James Allen says:

        Hearing that agreement isn’t there so teams are working on engineering solution for Germany

    2. Jeff says:

      My understanding based on another article is that the teams can keep what they have for this year. FRIC will be outlawed for next years car.

      1. jhynesadmin says:

        It’s our understanding that the technical directive states an inclination to continue with the systems until the end of the season but only if all teams are in agreement with that. If not then it states that systems may have to be reported to the stewards for non-compliance with article 3.15 of the technical regulations.

  4. Jonathan C says:

    “So why does the FIA want to ban FRIC suspensions now?”

    Or unofficially, because the FIA think that having the Mercedes so far ahead is turning people off, so they are looking for ways that might shake things up a bit and so make the sport even more artificial? I don’t know why they don’t just go out and give all the teams a couple of Sinclair C5′s each and be done with it.

    1. moxlox says:

      Precisely this.

      Its a bit like the mid-season change to Michelin tyres they did several years ago.

      It would be more sensible to do such a change between seasons. It would be more entertaining for us if they did it now……

    2. Grant H says:

      This all stinks this has nothing to do with rules and all about trying to stop merc running away, ban the system for 15 not now just makes the sport a joke, im getting so angry with the fia and bernie for destroying my sport,

      1. James Allen says:

        It won’t slow Merc down relative to the others

      2. Michael in Sydney says:

        And I am sure that they may have an insight into this. It certainly makes us viewing public think that the FIA is trying to do something about it.

        There’s such a constant them in political manoeuvring: make “bold” statements or decisions, throw your weight around, and ignore all the people who will be impacted by your decision. In this case the teams and the viewers.

        Once more, F1 proves itself to me that it does not want to be the pinnacle of motor sport.

      3. Peter says:

        Thats what I think too, everyone is making a big assumption that Mercedes has the best FRIC system and therefore the most to lose but I personally believe it may hinder Red Bull the most – With the engineering brilliance of Newey and the fact that the RedBull seems so fast even though its down on power it suggest to me they have the best system so a ban would only mean Mercedes closest rivals will suffer the most.

      4. kenneth chapman says:

        @ james…how can you be so sure?

      5. PeterF says:

        +1 it’s in fact match fixing is it not?

    3. f1Jay says:

      If they want to shake things up, a better approach would be to remove the engine homologation rules.

      1. Ben says:

        What so Mercedes can spend more than the others and pull even further ahead?

    4. Steve Zodiac says:

      I don’t get it, we have to have these new fangled engines because they are advanced and are (read could be) the future. So why are we banning an advanced suspension system that is making the cars more efficient and are,no doubt, the future (more likely than the silly hybrid engines).

  5. Iwan says:

    Spend gazillions on new powertrains to be “road relevant”, then ban FRIC that is road relevant.

    WTactualF1. Seriously, the way things are going you’d think they have an 83 year old in charge. Will this ne ANOTHER year where some mid-season change of step alters the outcome? All of this while they sit and boardroom and wonder how to save the sport from ruin

    1. Chris M says:

      There are other articles circulating that suggest they’re also going to go after Mercedes MGU-H system as it’s producing much more horsepower down the straights than the Ferrari or Renault solution. Thus looking to punish a car manufacturer for doing a better job with the road relevant technology specifically introduced by the FIA to bring road relevance and greater manufacturer involvement in the “sport”.

      Incompetent or corrupt – take your pick but the FIA is definitely one of those two things, maybe even both.

      1. PeterF says:

        +1

      2. RacingFanatic says:

        Well said Chris M. :)

    2. Lee says:

      FRIC isn’t really road relevant at all actually. Its simply trying to replicate in a passive and more complex manner what active suspension does. A road going car would simply use active suspension.

      1. Mer1in says:

        This is incorrect. Do a search on the suspension systems used in McLaren’s 12C, 650S, and P1 supercars and you’ll find that they all use a suspension system conceptually similar to FRIC, that employs hydraulic dampers that are interlinked side-to-side and front-to-back. Why use such a complicated system instead of conventional dampers? Because it simply works better at giving you both excellent roll control and a supple ride.

      2. GarryT says:

        The three examples you pick for road cars are really excellent, they represent what the average Joe drives. Not

        Now if it was relevant on a GM Toyota or Ford I would agree.

  6. Sebee says:

    What about that hybrid power control where Mercedes is apparently at an advantage? Any word on that being nipped?

    Also, any word around the water cooler which team has the most wild/agressive/beneficial FRIC setup?

  7. PxB says:

    If the ban only applies to the more “extreme” FRIC systems, why would the teams remove it completely? It seems that the basic idea of a hydraulic front-rear connection is considered legal so I’d expect them to keep that (provided they can still get an advantage from it).

    1. KRB says:

      The problem is that Art. 3.15 is so vague and encompassing that the FIA can ban anything they like, at their whim. The steering wheel is a moveable aero device, so let’s ban steering!!

      F1 is a sport in need of saving from itself. A breakaway series is needed.

      1. PxB says:

        Agreed – many F1 rules seem deliberately vague but 3.15 is a particular classic.

        However the FIA’s existing position is clearer because Charlie’s known FRIC existed for years and hasn’t objected. Banning it completely now would be a blatant U-turn and any resulting disqualification would be wide open to appeal. The FIA could (deservedly) expect to be dragged through the mud.

        That said, he does conspicuously fail to say what he thinks actually makes them illegal…

      2. PeterF says:

        How about rubber tyres, they move and they effect aero. No tyres boys, wooden wheels next week…

      3. RacingFanatic says:

        “F1 is a sport in need of saving from itself. A breakaway series is needed.”

        I totally agree with you mate, I have been saying this for about a year now, sine they changed the tyres mid last season. Breakaway season where they are free to do more out the box type thinking, have more freedom with engine choices (cylinders, displacement, turbos etc..), much less aero development allowed, bigger and proper tyres again, no fuel limits, no DRS, no ERS/KERS rubbish, no computers involved… juse pure good old mechanics!!… Oh man imagine how good a potential break away series could be!!

  8. Colin Stone says:

    Godamm fiddlers. FRIC has been around for some tome and all of a sudden it must be removed immediately. FIA chumps.

  9. DB says:

    I don’t get this. A mechanical system which, it seems, could be applied to road cars is being banned? Is it political? Who doesn’t have it?

    1. Lee says:

      Political probably. But it wouldn’t make sense to use FRIC in road cars. It would be far simpler and cheaper to just put active suspension in a road car.

  10. Phil Brown says:

    NASCAR

  11. luqa says:

    FRiIC- talk about fiddling while Rome burns!

    Charlie needs replacing quickly. He’s making up the rules as he goes along. He has zero credibility! Absolutely no consistency in anything. There is no safety issue involved- thus no legitimate reason for a change. FRIC has been around for years and the cars have been designed with it in mind. To suddenly declare it illegal mid season is nuts!

    This costly mid season redesign at the whim of the FIA- specifically CW also questions the credibility of the FIA to keep costs down. They- FIA and CW should be brought up on changes of that good old catch all paragraph of the Sporting Regulations of “bringing the sport into disrepute”.

    By all means ban FRIC at the end of the season, allowing teams to design around it for 2015. Here is a “road car” relevant piece of technology being tossed out again at a whim – stickily because they can. For shame F1

  12. jmv says:

    What no journalist so far mentions is which team actually pushed for this change?

    Caterham? I am sure they struggled to get it to work, and so they really harrassed the FIA over it.

    1. PeterF says:

      Caterham! That team with such political power money and influence. Really? How about someone bigger that is losing badly and are looking embarrassingly ordinary, someone with history and connections. Any thoughts, maybe red ones?

      1. Ben says:

        My understanding is that this a political move from the smaller teams because they are miffed about not being a part of the strategy group so have absolutely no political power and there has been nothing done at all about cost control. As it requires all the teams to agree – in usual F1 fashion instead of trying to work together to come to some sort of solution the ‘big’ teams are just designing there car to run without it. Charlie is getting a lot of stick here but it is the usual case of the teams dysfunctional ability to work together for the greater good that is the real problem.

      2. PeterF says:

        @Ben This is political all right but it’s prime mover is not the small teams even if they are in support of it. As always some significant source of money and power is behind this and that is not the small teams, even combined. I agree that the teams are dysfunctional in their inability to work together, but on this occasion that is being used as a cover for this move. This is match fixing, plain and simple, the question is by who and why and when are the police going to get involved?

    2. VV says:

      Apparently (according to Craig Scarborough) they all run FRIC in one form or another, but Force India sometimes run without it.

    3. Matías says:

      Caterham? i don’t think so. Even if they were behind in the FRIC, now they’re posed to be a “C” Team for Red Bull, so i don’t see them shooting on their own foot…

  13. Sergio says:

    I can’t understand why FIA doesn’t ban FRIC from now. Is it legal or it isnt? Simple as that. Sometimes so hard with the aplication of certain rules and sometimes so diplomatic & “democractic”. Wait, we can ask to the crowd: thumbs up or down? If “my team” sports that suspension…

  14. Damonw says:

    This is pathetic!! All theses systems should be checked and passed before the first race in Melbourne!!

    I’m assuming this is the case anyway and this is just another plot by Whiting and his cronies to artificially alter the championship!!

    The sport is a joke and I hope teams threaten to quit the sport!!

  15. Gaz Boy says:

    Shades of Renault -Enstone circa 2006 mass dampers????
    I always get the impression those Parisians at the FIA sit down, drink wine, eat cheese and come up with some hair brain ideas to denude the competitiveness of the UK kit car teams.
    Oh yes, what does FIA stand for? Ferrari’s International Agency…………….with love, from the cheese eating let’s clobber the rosbiffs Parisians.
    Cynical? About the French and the FIA? Of course………………..

    1. SilverArrow says:

      There’s plenty of Brits in the FIA as well, and last I checked Charlie isn’t French. That’s the second time that I can remember where you’ve thrown insults at an entire nation. And please don’t bring Ferrari into this, or at least get your facts straight. As far as I know, their FRIC system is one of the better ones.

      As for the sudden mid-season change, is it really a surprise?

      1. Gaz Boy says:

        Perhaps I should clarify my comments: When I meant the “French”, that was short-hand for those gentlemen in blazers who inhabit the ivory towers of the FIA HQ! Some of their decisions I just found utterly bizarre, and completely insane
        However, I think bringing Ferrari into the debate is logical, as over the years Ferrari’s International Agency (sic) has bent over backwards to hobble the British kit car teams in favour its of its favourite prodigal team.
        Actually, the issue of the residency of the International Automobile Federation HQ is worthy of debate. The language of the car industry, sport, technology, fashion, music, food, art, literature, business and communications is English. A third of the world speaks English as its first language, so why not move the HQ to an English speaking country? And secondly, get rid of the presidential system and replace it with parliamentary democracy so sensible, down to earth decisions can be made!
        Nothing against France, charming country with lovely little villages and countryside, but it’s the English speaking Anglosphere that, despite the best efforts of China and Russia, is still the dominant culture of the world with one huge advantage – the binding influence of the English language!

      2. Gaz Boy says:

        PS Maybe if the International Automobile Federation didn’t come up with such stupid and bizarre rules, not to mention arbitrary rule changes mid season, then spectators such as myself from the English speaking Anglosphere countries would be more inclined to be supportive of it! I doubt anyone from the English speaking world agrees with this silly mid season decision, not to mention the dogs breakfast that is “double points” at the end of the season.

      3. deroguy says:

        @Gaz Boy although I have to admit to mostly skimming over your often rambling and incoherent posts, along with your habit of replying to yourself, I find your bigoted views of everything which is not located in the UK offensive and believe the moderators here should do a better job at editing your posts which are derogatory and libelous.

        I come to this site for the insight which James so kindly provides us and the augmentation the community provides without the slurs, jibes and name calling other sites serve up. Please don’t ruin it for those of us who just want to focus on the “sport” itself.

      4. Gaz Boy says:

        RE Deroguy: I stand by comments about the FIA, they lack consistency and sound judgement. If anyone is ruining the sport of Formula 1 it is the FIA – the declining television figures just indicate how out of touch they are in their ivory towers in Paris. If you think that is derogatory and libelous then so be it – but I am bound to say you are misplaced.
        For the record, I have a lot admiration and respect for the English speaking Commonwealth and Northern European countries and for their huge contribution to Formula 1 and motor sport as a whole. The Commonwealth nations and Northern Europe are the least corrupt countries in the world, as we share the same values of parliamentary democracy, trial by jury, accountability not to mention transparency.
        Perhaps if the FIA was run on the same lines using a parliamentary democracy system that was more open to scrutiny, and with much greater levels of transparency then I’d be more inclined to respect them rather than making silly arbitrary rule changes.
        If anyone is ruining F1, look no further than 8 Concorde Place, Paris, France, 75008.

      5. cometeF1 says:

        Why should all thing be based in English speaking countries? FIA/FISA was created in France in 1904 as a regroupment of racing clubs so rules could be standardized. Does it matter so much where it is based? Do you feel Mosley did a better job than Todd while running the show?
        I feel there is no place here or elsewhere for this kind of rants. Deciding superiority of a particular culture over another. It is a pity that at time you choose to go down that path as usually your comments make for worthwhile read. Marc

  16. Ben Bailey says:

    This is one of the FIM / FOMs worst ideas ever. Maybe it wont make much difference but why ban it mid season. Makes F1 look ridiculous and will also be very expensive to optimize around a hastily knocked up system. Some teams have based whole area and suspension geo around this system.
    Surely this is just posturing to get something else put through or is just the yearly mid season meddle?

  17. Elie says:

    James, Lotus had it since 2012 and I think it contributed greatly to looking after its tyres and racing with the “big boys”. Mercedes have obviously refined it and Looking at Red Bull –Im taking a stab and say they are the very radical ones who have optimised -’because how else are they keeping that terrific chassis fighting where it is? Do Ferrari run it or is it not necessary with pull rod?

    This is incredibly disappointing because it is exactly the type of thing I love about F1 – innovation. Also if your talking about comfort in a car at 5g braking/ cornering James I would suggest its proabably worth 1 sec or more at places like Singapore and maybe more than half that elsewhere. If your Kimi its probably worth even more !.Sure the teams are going to love spending sqillions trying to satisfy a rule change -NOT.

    There is a simple answer Mr Whiting -get that poison pen out and just add a sentence or two to article 3.15 clarifying it so they dont go too far & save everyone millions of pounds. On a more important note arent these cars already very tricky to drive and already have rather hefty cornering attitudes – Im sure the drivers will adjust but WHY Mid Season? I thought the real brains trust -All us here : ) decided that it was not right changing rules mid season – even the FIA avoids this on “safety grounds” in the past..

    Sounds like scrutineering gone wrong rather than racing going right

    1. Nickh says:

      Autosport have said they believe Mercedes, Lotus, Ferrari and Marussia all have their cars fully designed around FRIC. I was a little shocked they mentioned Marussia. Who knows they could be wrong. I would also be very surprised if the Red Bull wasn’t designed around a very advanced FRIC suspension.

      1. kenneth chapman says:

        according to the latest ‘racecar engineering’ i read last night it is quite true regarding marussia.

    2. kenneth chapman says:

      @ elie….like 99.9% of people here, i do not know all the fine details and therefore to make any judgment other than join the collective ‘diss’ becomes not only difficult but virtually impossible.

      it is my contention that there is more going on than what we know at the moment and it is that which will determine the outcome. we don’t really know whether or not some teams have come up with super versions of FRIC which whilst similar to those in the past could well be advances that have become outside the frame.

      it is for that reason that there may well be cause to alter the status quo mid season. i am only guessing here but to presume that the changes are being mooted for the beneift of one team as opposed to the others without any ‘legal’ precedent seems to be a very long bow.

      1. Elie says:

        @Kenneth Im just against this stupid idea of changing cars mid season or banning something because some interpretation of it has been taken to the “next step”. It maybe one team it could be 4. But surely to take it away completely mid stream is not the work of a day and not pocket change. Whereas a clarification and a limit on it can just as easily see things through till next year.

      2. kenneth chapman says:

        as i said elie, without the details it is impossible to make any meaningful opinion. yes, it is highly undesirable to make mid season changes, however as i said earlier, i do believe that there is far more at play here than one merely disgruntled competitor.

      3. Ben Fulford says:

        Well done, this is the most reasoned response here. A lot of people are jumping up and down blaming the fia for this but as you point out nearly all of them do not know the full story… One thing the fia could definitely be criticised for is their lack of transparency. If they were a bit more open then this backlash would be a lot more measured and reasonable.

  18. Phil Glass says:

    FIA governance in present form should be banned with immediate effect.

    A thorough new governing mechanism will be agreed unanimously by all participating teams and implemented before this year’s German GP.

    :) :) :) :) :) :) :)

    1. Elie says:

      I think we need new owners who actually believe in it as a sport. The FIA are bowing to pressure from rights owners to even up the field and keep the “show” exiting rather than a winner – winning

  19. NFR says:

    I concur with everything being said, why do this mid-year? When none of the teams (granted, as far as we know) have been complaining about a competitive advantage by teams running more complex FRIC systems? Is this system that damaging to the sport that you risk altering the results of a season already in progress? All this does is make the fans question whether or not the FIA is trying to introduce parity mid-season. Last year tire compounds were changed in the middle of the season (which seemed to me clearly helped Redbull) now we have this. If the FIA is concerned about the health of the sport, how about keep the rules the same the entire season for a start.

    Jonathan C is right, might as well put everyone in the same chassis. Who needs innovation?

    1. kenneth chapman says:

      @ NFR….if you desire innovation just look at WEC and LMP1 in particular. it is there that we are seeing the ‘pinnacle’ of motorsport. F1 is ,ATM, a pale comparison.

  20. Phil Glass says:

    Just guessing who is currently benefitting from fric

    RB
    Merc
    Ferrari of Alonso only
    Williams
    F Ind

    just guessing

    1. VV says:

      Do you seriously think that Ferrari would just put it on Alonso’s car?

      [mod]

  21. ACx says:

    Could be wrong, but don’t the FIA try to find some sort of technical regs breach every midish season where one team looks dominant?

  22. Sue Donymous says:

    So, in an effort to claw back the dwindling viewers, who they believe are turning off due to dominance on the part of one team (not that F1 has ever survived one team dominating …) the FIA think the answer is to adopt a mid-season rule change. However, this sort of nonsense is viewed by existing fans and potential fans alike as contrived and unsporting and makes people turn off. In 30 years of watching F1, I have seen some bizarre decisions and appalling leadership but I cannot recall a time where those governing the sport I enjoy have irritated me quite as much. F1 no longer knows where it’s going, what it is or who it wants to appeal to. Of course, 20″ tyres and double points will bring everyone back to the TV screens won’t it, so that the appalling television coverage and camera angles ensure all the trackside advertising and celebrities can be seen clearly.

    FRIC was never an issue. Mercedes are dominating, so in a vain effort to ‘balance the field’ and ‘spice up the show’, they use a broad, catch all regulation to try and ban it. Hockenheim 2014, Mercedes 1-2, cars banned due to the use of FRIC. You read it here. It’s sad, but it is about time F1 gave up any pretence of being a sport. These are becoming entertainment events, and it’s all due to weak leadership, grasping in the dark at the behest of those who seek to make more and more profit from their investment. FIA chumps … indeed.

    Rant over, I’m off to slam the door and get some air.

    1. Matías says:

      a good way to balance the field is to add a couple of snipers out in the circuit. So if a car get’s more than 2 seconds away, a sniper will shoot one of the tyres… And that’s why Pirelli is bringing the 18″ rims, so the aftermentioned sniper will have a bigger target! :D

    2. Drgraham lewis says:

      +100 – 39 years – most wondering at the daft grass roots level changes!

      This however just absolutely takes the cake – in two weeks mid season?

      Crazy stupid posturing by a corrupt ineffective body!

      Really have had enough of this silliness

  23. Rob says:

    Looks like part of a well-manicured “keep F1 in the news” campaign. The statements leave most of the information out of view – the statement that “these things are sophisticated enough that I, Mr. Whiting, can apply my ‘I don’t like this anymore’ rule” is full of non-information.

    Genuine safety concern? Make changes effective immediately.
    Vague technical concern with little supporting information? You’re trying to manipulate the championship mid-season to tweak ratings, pure and simple.

    Last year, at least, you could argue that there was a genuine safety concern (even if the teams were using the tyres backwards against Pirelli orders…)

    All evidence points to Ringling Bros.-style show management…

    You know, we’ve had a few really good races this year… what fans are they trying to win back, exactly? Yes, it’s lop-sided at the front. Why not forget about cost-cutting and let Renault and Ferrari (and Merc…) invest more in engine changes, and the racing will get tighter…

    1. PeterF says:

      “You’re trying to manipulate the championship mid-season to tweak ratings, pure and simple.”

      Spot on. Such activities are illegal.

  24. mitchw says:

    Wow. FIA has a completely odd idea about what makes for fair competition that’s worth paying attention to.

  25. ian b says:

    Sounds horribly like gerrymandering.

  26. Glen says:

    I think Charlie Whiting should be replaced.

  27. Mike Clarke says:

    It’s things like this that turn people off watching and following F1.

  28. Joshua says:

    They are intent on turning away fans.

    It’s bad enough we have the prospect of double points threatening to ruin what is shaping up to be a great season, but now mid season changes to a piece of engineering that appears to be legal and road car relevant which was the whole point of these turbo engines. Ridiculous.

    If they want more pits stops make peirelli use softer compounds or develop faster wearing tires. …..oh wait they did that but the fia and teams hung them out to dry.

    I have given up trying to get friends into F1 as its difficult explaining this types of debacle.

  29. Grant says:

    Oh there goes the wheel to wheel racing (for as many laps as necessary to effect the overtake) we saw between ALO and VET.

  30. franed says:

    Sounds like the horse has been whispering in certain ears.

    1. goggomobil says:

      What make you think Ferrari is a squeeler?.
      Why don’t you search bit deeper from C.Whiting reason behind it.
      You will find it that couple teams up front on the grid developed the FRAC that is equal if not better than the Active Suspension that was baned in 1994.

      1. My Dad's Harder than Yours says:

        What make you think Ferrari is a squeeler?.

        Thier track record…….. (in more ways than one)

      2. luqa says:

        Auto Motor Sport suggests the “squealers” are Ferrari, Mclaren and Caterham. It also suggested for the German GP, Mercedes and Redbull will take their systems out of the cars.

        This is pure intimidation tactics, and FIA / Charlie W should firmly clarify the issue one way or another. However, since FRIC had been around for years and NOT specifically banned, waiting until mid year to bring the issue up just gives F1 another black-eye and turns people off.

      3. PeterF says:

        It’s not being called into question for being active suspension it’s being classified as an aerodynamic part which of course it is not as it does not influence air flow in any way shape or form. This is abuse of authority in an attempt to influence the outcome of the Championship.

  31. Eric says:

    OK. A mess. If banned during/after Germany, which drivers will benefit? It would appear to bring driving further into the competition over mechanical superiority?

    Not going to change Manufacturers’ Championship at the top save for 3-10, but could impact drivers’ standings.

    Hate the mid-year change but find more driver input attractive even with the artificial tire issues.

    1. Gazza says:

      I guess this would help the drivers who are renowned for being able to drive around problems such as Alonso and Hamilton.

      Can’t see it helping Vettel, he’s had enough problems trying to cope without the EBD let alone an even more unstable car.

      1. warley says:

        Also have to consider the effect of FRIC on braking stability. So many teams have been having trouble with brake-by-wire which will almost certainly be linked in to the FRIC.
        They will suddenly be back to the drawing board with that. Poor Kimi and the Saubers may as well pack up and go home!

  32. GB says:

    Once again they are interfering with the sport in a political way. The average guy who was stood in the stands watching the great racing at Silverstone does not care one way or another about FRIC! Why make this an issue and an expense for teams to change? They are half a season in – this is no time to start moving the goal posts. Is this Bernie behind the scenes trying to slow down Mercedes and bring his mates at Red Bull back into the picture?

    If some teams have done a better job than others let’s congratulate them, not punish them! The sport is going to get to the stage where teams dare not innovate, they dare not push boundaries and very quickly this will no longer be the pinnacle of motorsport!

  33. Fausta says:

    It could be that the FRIC systems on some of the cars have been developed throughout the season and have now pushed the limits of the regulations. Whiting undoubtedly follows the various developments and some which were deemed ok at first are often developed and pushed into the gray areas.
    I am not supporting the decision, just giving a reason why it might be happening mid-season vs the various conspiracy theories.

  34. goonerf1 says:

    This is symptomatic of the problem with F1 at the moment. Yet more regulation.

    Just leave them alone! The teams have doubtlessly gone to huge expense to gain the extra tenths of a second this gives them, and Charlie Whiting et al’s response is to possibly ban the technology.

    F1 is quite clearly not the pinnacle of motorsport anymore, and it’s because bans like this keep getting passed.

    Leave it alone Charlie! F1 has bigger problems than FRIC suspension!

    1. warley says:

      I sometimes feel that bureaucracies are unable to leave things alone. It is their self-appointed role to be ‘managers’ and many managers feel that unless they are making changes they are not managing and justifying their existence so we have change for the sake of change. Steady State has become anathema! The FIA is now in a sense just too powerful and cannot be challenged. It and it alone controls the concept of regulating motor sport world wide. It essentially has absolute power and we all know what that does to people!

  35. Richard says:

    [mod] Basically it’s agree to this or we knock your legs from under you and you will not be able to take part. It’s also brinkmanship of course, and I daresay would be totally impractical to introduce it mid way through the year. Well the teams responses will be interesting to say the least.

  36. Karl says:

    We don’t really know who will be the driver that will be the most affected by the change.
    Surely this will cost money to the teams and much more to regain the lost advantage.

    I always stay amazed that the FIA engineers are smarter than the legions of engineers that top teams employs. They always seems to understand everything about the cars. Without spending millions they are always able to tell with absolute certainty what is wrong or right with the cars and that their changes are easily achievable.

    If I may, I would suggest this section of the FIA instead to take their time on fixing the security of this years cars as we have seen at least twice cars going airborne.

    Above all, what they showed us since a couple of weeks now is that they absolutely don’t care about the fans. They say they do, they believe it too, but never take the time to reflect on the negative reactions of the fans in the media, internet and different social networks.

    Of course people will keep watching the sport on T.V. or go to the races as the sport morph itself a little bit more to an entrainment show with superstars, sparkles, unpredictable rule changes, and gigantic sums of money wasted in a split second.

  37. Matt W says:

    Typical F1 putting politics and power play ahead of sporting integrity. The sooner the old boys club leaves the stage the better.

    1. goonerf1 says:

      Spot on. For all the talk of attracting a younger audience, the powers that be at the top of sport will be collecting their bus passes soon, if they haven’t already.

      I hope Christian Horner or Alain Prost succeed Bernie at the top, everytime I hear them speak the racing side of their personalities comes through. The same for certain drivers.

      I can’t help but think the people on the ground in F1, and I’m talking from team principals down here, if you could talk to them off the record, would say that they don’t really like F1 at the moment.

      Unfortunately, corporate and marketing rules the roost now, and everyone has to tow the line. I think the true racing fans amongst us, drivers, fans, team members and media alike, none of us really like it.

      1. kenneth chapman says:

        @ gooner F1…..i agree with most of your post however i would hate to see christian horner anywhere near a top position in the hierarchy. christian horner nailed his colours to the mast in the malaysian GP when vettel took the lead away from mark webber in a blatant disregard for an agreed result.

        christain horner is weak and that was proved by his weasel words to vettel. ‘don’t be silly seb’….i mean is this leadership?

      2. goonerf1 says:

        kenneth chapman – In Red Bull guise, I agree with you. That was very weak management. With an FIA shirt on though, I think he would be different. His enthusiasm for racing certainly comes across in his interviews. I loved hearing him shout “Go on Sebby, good boy” when he was overtaking Alonso at the British Grand Prix.

        It’s nice to hear their personalities come through rather than being fronted with the same old marketing and PR speak all the time.

  38. Grant H says:

    This is just plain stupid i agree with the comments here sack the fia what a joke

    1. James Allen says:

      The thing is….they own F1 and are the acknowledged regulators…

      1. Michael in Sydney says:

        Despite all of our righteous protestation, James has, of course, summed it up in his 11 word post.

      2. Kristiane says:

        Now if the teams unit together to bring up a new series so they won’t be regulated by the FiA and their stupid rules, I’d be the first to support that.

        A party is not a party if only the host is present and no one participating in it.

      3. JDanek007 says:

        The major teams signed commercial agreements bilaterally w/ CRH first, and in doing so agreed not to form breakaway series.

      4. goonerf1 says:

        The GPWC got floated a few years ago. I wonder if this is starting to come into the back of people’s minds again.

      5. Wade Parmino says:

        Do you really think the teams would ever be able to agree on the terms of the ‘new’ series. It would take a decade of planning and negotiations just to lay the groundwork.

      6. warley says:

        The teams migjt be up for it but where would they race since any circuits they used would be blocked from holdong any other FIA sanctioned series so they could not survive

      7. Grant H says:

        Totally agree

      8. Sue Donymous says:

        That is quite true James. F1 is a brand and as such, they can do with it as they please, as with any product. However, products rely on consumers, and Formula 1 is absolutely no different, indeed the number of consumers for this particular product are limited and as such, should be treated with respect, rather than the indifference and contempt that has been evident in recent years. Efforts like this will only serve to reduce a number that is, if viewing figures re to be believed, declining race by race.

        Just as they can run the sport as they wish, the fans can elect to take a pass and move on to any number of equally enjoyable international categories (WEC, I’m looking at you). The arrogance of those running the sport may well be, one day, their own undoing. You can only serve a bad meal so many times, eventually, people start to dine elsewhere.

      9. Michael in Sydney says:

        Interesting viewpoint. Spot on. I’d extend it to say that not only is F1 a product, but it is also a service.

        What turns people away more than a bad product? Bad service.

        Let’s face it, as a highly profitable business, F1 will not be changed. There will always be those who don’t care for the mess it is in and will pay. But the will come when F1 will be challenged. Competition, in business terms, is the only driver of real internal change and improvement to both product and service.

      10. erik says:

        As long there are people who care more about others doings than his own, brands like F1 will survive and flourish. We accept it so much we are wiling to buy the right to watch it. Already this fact is telling. Soon you will pay for commenting here too. Then again i`m doing it already paying to my internet provider.

        My point is i will follow it as long their insults are bearable and i don`t find out some ultramanipulating stuff. As long drivers feel they can have some input i will cheer for them. But the fact remains put any driver in Mercedes and they will win. Pretty pointless if driver feels he can be second when he is having a bad day. Where is the input there? …or competition?

        And don`t let them to develop a product it is new. What the heck? Even Red Bull had to deal with much level paying field where competitors had the right to develop the same product. Give them all right to fight. This is insulting i have to watch god given right to win. Ooooooo… this is epic fight between Vettel and Alonso. What?. They were almost a lap down!!!! They were racing and it should be the coal for everybody. Not to preserve the car since Rosberg went out and there should have been no cap like there were to do a precaution pit stop and still have some odd 15 sec cap to second place. Even in Vettel era it wasn`t like this!
        This makes me appreciate Vettels achievements much more and makes me understand the pointless waist of energy that Vettel should feel right now.
        Vettel is having worst car since 2008 and Ricciardo has never driven a better car. It must mean something.

        This is insulting they tell me to look another way and cheer for imaginary stories.

      11. Thompson says:

        @Erik

        All that you typed makes no sense…..

        Vettel dominated the past 4yrs, the Last year he won the last 9 races unchallenged – stop and consider.

        We currently have a dominant team with 2 drivers up to the fight and competitive.

        This time last year we all knew who would be champion – I challenge you to call it for this WDC, at this stage of the season it can go ether way no matter personal bias towards the drivers.

        I mean c’mon, your’re being unreasonable – what are you so mad about?

      12. PeterF says:

        The thing is… match fixing is illegal.

  39. Marco Grimaldi says:

    Banning FRIC is not like banning blown defusers. Banning FRIC would be more compatible to banning pushrod/pullrod suspension. This is a passive MECHANICAL system which improves the driving dynamics of the car AND is practical for road use in the future. Hasn’t the FIA been banging on about closing the gap between road and race? This makes no sense. A couple tenths here and there, they need to focus on improving the quality of racing. Go back to 455 section rear tires; cars can follow closer and you’ll have more competitive racing.

  40. JDanek007 says:

    James, I understand that you’re very much part of the Establishment media in F1, but like you did in response to FIA’s shameful abandonment of promise to pursue substantial cost reductions / reduced spending, I really think you should voice more explicit criticism of FIA here for:

    1) adopting a cynical approach to F1 governance that seeks to cravenly cause disharmony and conflict over accepted FRIC technology, pitting the teams against each other (rather than emphasizing collaborative process that legitimizes the concerns of all relevant stakeholders, and

    2) threatening to take a ridiculous, potentially-punitive regulatory action mid-season that would invalidate technology that’s been in use for several seasons without complaint, the scrapping of which would impose additional costs on the teams to redesign FRIC-dependent systems and parts and revise wind tunnel development programmes currently under study in order to factor in the loss of the optimised ride height that all had reason to believe was/is legal and safe-from-protest.

    I’m not suggesting that FIA under Todt is corrupt per se (though Ward insinuated as much), but their governance process and decisions (especially as concerns the shameful Strategy Group, which is likely illegal under EU-law) are not in keeping with best practices for international federations accredited to IOC, except in the area anti-doping, but that’s only b/c FIA’s anti-doping programme is implemented externally, by WADA, with the Federation only responsible for assigning driver-athletes to international out-of-competition testing pool, and results dissemination (but not management) – god forbid…

    Respected journalists like James Allen MUST consider adopting a more adversarial and investigative approach to covering FIA and the Formula 1 if our sport is EVER to recover from the stage-managed theatrics of Ecclestone’s asset-stripping dark ages. FOM considers social media irrelevant b/c it can’t be monetized to fill CVC’s already-bursting vault of pillaged F1 wealth, but ironically, social media is providing a mechanism to delegitimize Ecclestone and his CVC cohort, and FIA allies, in the eyes of the very same global fan base – newly-empowered – that Bernie has consistently ignored, abused and offended.

    Looking fwd to your response…

  41. Christopher Cathles says:

    I think it goes back further than you think – 1962 in fact. Try this link http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hydrolastic – invented by famous British rubber engineer Alex Moulton, and used in road cars such as the Morris 1100, a chassis-free rust-bucket on which I learned to drive

    1. Drgraham lewis says:

      First used on the mini actually – moulton had a hand in the development of the earlier rubber based suspension on that car too.

      Quite brilliant engineer.

      You can also argue Citroen DS and many sice used an active (pump) version of similar principles.

  42. Christopher Cathles says:

    And another thing – does it work by FRICSion?

  43. Tom Berry says:

    This is simply posturing, active suspension is coming and every knows it. This is F-Duct and DRS all over again

  44. Erik says:

    Looks like Charlie needed to find something to justify his existence. Typical political move by Charlie, hope the teams stand up to him – considering the smaller teams are on the ropes in terms of budget.

  45. Nickh says:

    What is the actual non-Bull**** explanation for this idea?!

  46. chis bentham says:

    Just thought id mention,i have a little rover metro track car that has a similar system,all metros use interconnected suspension,nice to see a system from an old british car making the grade in f1.

  47. Vague says:

    It sounds like a very, very vague interpretation of the rules that leads you to “movable aerodynamic device”.

    If active suspension is banned, and passive suspension is required, “smart” passive suspension is banned as well?

    I’d really like to understand what the objective with these mid season sudden illegalities is.

    Is it to make the cars safer?

    Reduce cost?

    Something else?

  48. Bullish says:

    If it illegal, it is illegal.

    As soon as one team makes their cars legal, they can protest again every other car in the race.

    The FIA don’t have the power to stop this unless all the team agree.

  49. BMG says:

    James, what team will this affect the most.

  50. Yak says:

    What i don’t get is, pre-season 2012 there was a big fuss about Lotus’ reactive suspension being deemed illegal due to the moveable aero rule. Even if the mechanical/hydraulic workings are different, in terms of the moveable aero rule, I never really understood how one was considered illegal and the others not.

    And wasn’t there talk just a couple of months back about the FIA wanting to bring back active suspension? What?

  51. JakobusVdL says:

    Policing FI technical regs must be such a headache, 100′s of super smart engineers looking for every possible advantage from a clever interpretation of a rule, and pushing the boundaries on every new upgrade.
    I’m guessing that if whiting is saying the ‘legality is open to question’ the systems break the rule, and since F1 teams don’t respond to requests to ‘back it off a bit’ the only option is to throw out the baby with the bathwater.

    But the important question is ‘will this affect hamiltons strong mental attitude’??????

    1. goonerf1 says:

      It’s only a headache because there are so many rules. A few FIA representatives against thousands if highly skilled engineers, initially, the FIA are only going to lose.

      But, then, riding into the equation comes Charlie, who after much design and development costs by the teams, can say, nope I’m not allowing that. And all that work, effort and money goes down the drain.

      The FIA can’t hope to meet the teams in R&D, but they stand a pretty good chance of winning when the extensive and open-to-interpretation Sporting & Technical Regs come into play.

      1. JakobusVdL says:

        Yep its all a bit of a game
        When a team get it right (double diffusers, coanda exhausts, etc) championships and big bucks come in
        When the get it wrong (just about anything that sounds remotely innovative – double chassis, mclaren cvt gearbox, mass dampers, etc, a ban ensues money goes down the drain, and they move onto the next smart idea
        Now if they can find away to protest those Mercedes Power Units The second half of the Season could get interesting

    2. Thompson says:

      @jakobus

      Lol….. You got me with that last line, good one.

  52. Simon Backley says:

    Absolute BS! This is what F1 is supposed to do; create technology that trickles down into high performance road cars and finally into daily drivers. Give it up for gods sake.

    1. kenneth chapman says:

      @ simon….no, that is not what F1 is supposed to do. F1 is supposed to provide entertainment by way of competition between various manufacturers and at the same time provide a platform for the finest engineering solutions to going fast,safely.

      F1 is not a test bed for road cars. it never has been and it never should be. if, perchance, an idea can be seen to be a possible pickand extension for inclusion into the general motoring trend then so be it. it should never be a primary goal or concern. if you care to dig deeper you will find that other series are more attuned to this by means of relevant racing conditions and R & R.

      it certainly is time to get off this ‘green/eco ‘ bandwagon promoted by the ‘luvvies’ and simply build machines that provide the fans/followers with all the ingredients of what should simply be ‘racing’ without all the artificiality and flim flam.

      1. Voodoopunk says:

        “it certainly is time to get off this ‘green/eco ‘ bandwagon promoted by the ‘luvvies’ and simply build machines that provide the fans/followers with all the ingredients of what should simply be ‘racing’ without all the artificiality and flim flam.”

        It’s about time someone said it.

  53. jimmy says:

    This has Ferrari’s name all over it. who benefitted most from banning Renault’s Mass Dampwening System

    1. Nickh says:

      That was illegal though and only on one car. FRIC is basically on all of the cars, maybe not Caterham. So not really the same thing.

  54. Steve Zodiac says:

    Pinnacle of what? Stupidity, surely F1 is all about innovation. Charlie/FIA can’t keep changing their minds mid season. This is a very clever system and should be applauded. Bang Bang Bang! there goes another nail in the F1 coffin!

    1. kenneth chapman says:

      @ steve,….your assumption that, ‘ surelyF1 is all about innovation’ is wrong. it should be but it isn’t and it is being further depressed by the latest issues.

      FRIC is old tech. there has to be more to this.

  55. Richard Bernecker says:

    Why in the world does F1 continue to actively snuff any spark of creativity out of the sport? If I wanted to watch spec racing, I’d do that already. Cost cutting can’t possibly be the legitimate rationale. After all, clever engineering doesn’t require a lot of money – it requires inventiveness and a bold spirit.

    Charlie and the lads really need to ask themselves – would Colin Chapman want to design a car for today’s F1? If not (and I believe that the answer is no), then that should be a sign that the formula is simply wrong.

    1. Nickh says:

      +1000. Exactly, it seems there only rationale is cost cutting (although they thought it was a brilliant idea to spend zillions on rubbish hybrid engines when they could have spent zillions less and put V8 or V10 engines in) F1 will soon be dead if it carries on in this direction.

  56. Kristiane says:

    For crying out loud, FiA, STOP FIDDLING ABOUT WITH RULES!

    Banning FRIC not on safety grounds is stupid.
    Banning FRIC only after it’s been used for so many years is stupid.
    Preventing innovation in F1 making technology can’t go forward is even more stupid.

    If FRIC gets banned mid-season I’m going to turn my TV off.
    If FRIC gets banned without any sort of valid reason based on safety FiA is again going to kill it’s own sport.

  57. Kristiane says:

    If FiA thinks banning this and that technology / part / thing is going to help the championship fight more balanced, or bring more mid-field cars to the top, maybe they should just simply ban the winning driver / team. No points given so everyone can stay about equal everytime they come 2nd / 3rd etc. It’s just as stupid so might as well.

    1. goonerf1 says:

      I like your posts. You talk a lot of sense :).

      The way they are are going, they might aswell just give the entire field a GP2 spec car or similar and turn the engines up.

      You can read through the GP2 rules in 2 or 3 mins on their website. I dread to think how long it’d take to read the F1 rule book.

      Yet which is the better racing series for determining driver skill and for fan entertainment?

      1. Voodoopunk says:

        The answer is GP2.

  58. Jack says:

    Why does the FIA continuously change the rules and for what purpose? They continue to kill brilliant ideas and stop engineers with initiative from creating new technology and are trying their best to create a category that is no better then GP3, Indy Car or just sportscar racing. F1 is on a downward spiral and the FIA are going to wonder what happened. F1 has always been the pinnacle of motorcar racing and the FIA are doing all they can to destroy that. They have gone from V12 to V6 – yes that is a great idea in terms of hybrid technology and all that but isn’t sports car racing like Le Mans already investing in that area in the same technology? F1 is about the thrills, the most innovating technology and most important thing of all, fast cars – which they are trying their hardest to make slower. The FIA have killed F1 and there is no returning. A few peoples decision have ruined a category that millions of people around the world love, well, did love.

  59. Witan says:

    This is a blatant move to hurt Mercedes and make the races ‘more competitive’.

    There are two main reasons this is foolish.

    The first has been well aired here: a sudden change may leave some cars running on Heath Robinson suspension. And that strikes me as immensely dangerous.

    But secondly, F1′s business case is that it develops ideas and techniques that benefit road cars, particularly in terms of safety. Isn’t that exactly what such suspension systems, like energy recovery and new materials, very much what road cars can benefit from.

    A crazy ruling.

    1. Voodoopunk says:

      “But secondly, F1′s business case is that it develops ideas and techniques that benefit road cars.”

      Daftest idea ever.

  60. Sergio says:

    real pilots will come out

    this will be more and more about driving instinct

    the sooner the better

    about cost cutting:
    who will like that on football? or in any sport? between the top there will always be few teams, so let them battle.

    Everyone prefer to see idols out there

  61. Nator says:

    I don’t see the problem with this ban mid season. Why is everyone going off? It will be the same for everyone. It will just add another dimension to this tumultuous year.

    1. Voodoopunk says:

      I guess it’s the same reason they all went off after they tried to ban the exhaust blowing… oh wait…

  62. Tom in Adelaide says:

    James, could you please convey the overwhelmingly negative response of fans here to anyone and everyone you speak with in F1 over the next week.

    It’s like the FIA are completely deaf to fans voices.

    1. James Allen says:

      Sure, but this isn’t a “spice up the show” move like titanium skid plates or Double Points, this is a compliance issue, like protests over F Ducts or Red Bull wheels etc

      1. glen says:

        I think Charlie Whiting, the FIA and co. need to concentrate on compliance and stop introducing silly rules like double points and standing starts.

        Can you imagine a world cup final and in the final 30 minutes FIFA double the size of the net for the losing team?

        I think the frustration shown on this blog is down to people losing faith in the rule makers.

        They have gone for a green approach with increased efficiency. Everyone needs to be on the same page and their message needs to be clear, along with the reasoning behind it.

        Kind regards.

      2. Man On Wheels says:

        Compliance should be checked pre season and for newly developed parts before they find their way into a race and whatever is allowed to race now should be allowed to be raced for the rest of the season.

      3. JDanek007 says:

        Well surely you realize that scrutineering is an ongoing process that must take place throughout the season?

        Otherwise teams could simply modifying incrementally a system during the year and evolve it to a point like what’s alleged now for FRIC: beyond the parameters of the specified allowance.

        Not saying that I agree that FRIC = moveable aerodynamic device (I don’t have the technical knowledge to make that evaluation and few others commenting here do either). But surely we can acknowledge that we want the rules-enforcers to actually enforce the technical regulations ongoing?

      4. Man on Wheels says:

        “Well surely you realize that scrutineering is an ongoing process that must take place throughout the season?”

        I do, that’s why I put “for newly developed parts” in the sentence above, which was meant to include updates (which is putting a newly developped part into an existing system).

      5. aveli says:

        if fric not 9 years old? so why now?

      6. PeterF says:

        No its not a compliance issue. None of the parts of any FRIC system manipulate the passage of air and are de facto not aero parts. This is about the manipulation of the application of the rules to attempt to influence the outcome of the championship, which is illegal.

        The ‘logic’ the FIA are using to attempt to classify aspects of an F1 car that do not influence or effect the passage of air flow as ‘aero’ is fundamental flawed as ultimately applying the same logic to any part of the car would have the same result. Take the engine for example. Without the engine the entire aerodynamic system of the car is rendered useless. The engine causes motion, motion results in airflow over the car which in turn causes the wings etc to create down force etc. and therefore the engine is an ‘aero part’. Yes? And so as the engine has moving parts it is illegal according to the FIA’s interpretation of what constitutes a ‘moving aero part’!

        So no James, this is not a compliance issue. Like in 2006 and the banning of the mass damper, this is a matter for the police, why have they not been called?

      7. Kristiane says:

        Well said, Peter F. Was going to post something similar actually.

        The same can be said about suspension arms, steering wheels, etc…

      8. kenneth chapman says:

        @ james…i’m sure that you’ve read the latest from whiting where he now says that the titanium skid plates are a ‘safety’ measure first and foremost!!! can you possibly believe that? after all the ‘merde’ flung at them for this blatant hollywood move this is the best that they can come up with. as if………

      9. James Allen says:

        He said that in Silverstone at his briefing. The material used currently is very heavy and when bits of it come off it can cut tyres, as we have seen occasionally in last few years.

        There are three reasons of which show and safety are two. The other is to raise the cars up a bit (as titanium wears more quickly than the current material) to stop some fun and games from certain teams using the tea tray as a fifth contact patch with the ground.

      10. kenneth chapman says:

        @ james….i was fully aware of what whiting had said and the reasoning. firstly i was under the impression that these skid plates were on the cars at the austrian GP? maybe i was wrong. secondly, i was under the impression, like you were, where in your post you inferred that skid plates of titanium were a part of the ‘spice up the show’. you never mentioned any of the other ‘reasons’ given by whiting.

        i am also wondering why these details weren’t put out into the public domain until a few days ago when the silverstone race was some 10 days past? it couldn’t possibly have been because of the negative response from all and sundry gaining some momentum that the FIA/whiting felt as though they needed to give ‘other’ reasons to substantiate there pathetic attempt emulate hollywood special effects?

  63. Cheesypoof says:

    Here’s the thing… Who cares?? It’s not like this is a fantastic season. The last competitive season we had was 2010, five years ago. What sport takes half a decade before a competitive year? I can understand fans complaining if it was an amazing year… It’s not. We have another joke year where one team is finishing a minute ahead. I can only get excited about innovation for so long, the majority of F1 fans want to see who the best driver in the world is, not the best f1 car. Bring on wacky races style booby traps, as a contest this season is over. In sport the only value in finishing second is the portion of the pot for the team, so the only ones who care are the teams. Fans ultimately remember the winners… And this year with the brilliant engine freeze there is no contest, Mercedes win. The freeze is necessary guys to reduce costs in F1… Oh by the way this cost reduction only applies to the F1 fraternity, fans will have to pay more for F1 on TV, for apps, etc. Your welcome fans.

  64. Man On Wheels says:

    Welcome to the Muppet show.

    Formula 1 is desperately trying to put off the viewers and fans, isn’t it?
    They create a “double points” race, they introduce a standing restart after a safety car period (which is stupid on so many levels), now they ban a technology that is in use for 2 years now for being “illegal” (all of a sudden) and for no obvious reason. Why not change it for next season? What’s so damn wrong with it? The only reason why they do it now is to mix up the field. But I, as a fan, don’t want that. I want competition, no dice rolling.

    If they think Formula-1 fans are just another flavor of Wrestling fans, they are wrong. I’m so p*ssed at the moment, it’s the first time I’m thinking of letting Formula-1 alone for good and I never thought I wold say that. I just can’t take it anymore. All this artificial Mumbo-Jumbo, just to make it a “show” makes me feel like it’s not a sport anymore. And I feel insulted as a fan.

    1. James Allen says:

      Because one or two teams have taken the concept to an extreme level where the feeling is that the system contravenes the rule about moving aerodynamic devices.

      What would happen if the cars appeared at Hockenheim in the same specification as Silverstone, is that FIA tech people would report to the stewards about the non-compliance of any car fitted with a system which appears to allow the response of the suspension at either or both of the rear corners to drive the response of the suspension at either or both of the front corners (or vice versa).

      Complaint has come from one team. Suspicion is that it’s Red Bull but I’ve not had that confirmed.

      1. Man On Wheels says:

        If one team has taken something beyond legality, the rule has to be clarified and this team has to build it in a way that it is legal, but you can’t just ban a whole system, because two teams have taken it too far. That’s like banning wings, because two teams have built one that is not legal.

        This paragraph about “aerodynamic influence” is rubber paragraph that is vague enough not only to grant, but also to dismiss any complaint in that direction.
        And it’s ridiculous too. Taken seriously this paragraph says that the engine itself would be illegal, it contains moving pistons that drive exhaust gas, sucks air into the Airbox, all of that influences the aerodynamic properties of the car. Even the brake and accelerator pedals and the steering wheel would breach that paragraph – you can’t deny that operating the braking pedal changes the aerodynamic properties of a car, and if it’s just for the pitch that brings the front wing closer to the ground and lifts the back. That rule is a joke.

        And I find it dangerous to something drastic like that mid season. If teams now go back to some standard suspension, that the cars were not built for, where hard points may be missing to attach “old school” suspension parts to replace hydraulics, and they have to botch something together in a few weeks then let’s all hope we don’t get another Imola ’94.

      2. Richard Bernecker says:

        This memo is the continuation of an administrative vector in which the drive to squash all creativity out of the car’s engineering reaches increasingly absurd and esoteric levels. It may be a linear progression, but that doesn’t make it any less absurd. It’s like watching a Monte Python sketch in slow motion.

        If all the FIA wants to do is put on a show complete with fake corporate loyalties and a predefined rules-based parity between competitor cars (e.g. NASCAR) then by all means continue on. But if they want to honor the notion of competition between Constructors as well as between Drivers, then they are on the wrong vector. There is no virtue in continuing the vector simply for consistencies’ sake.

      3. Park says:

        If one or two teams have taken the concept to an extreme level where the feeling is that the system contravenes the rule about moving aerodynamic devices,why FIA is going to ban FRIC completely? I am confused! Reading all articles about FRIC,I regard FRIC as a pure mechanical system. Suspension is always movable,and always about aerodynamics!

      4. goonerf1 says:

        Spot on! 1 or 2 pushing the technology over the limit should not trigger a complete ban for everybody. That is a completely lazy way of regulating the sport.

        Instead, Charlie just needs to have a quiet word with whichever team or teams it or they are and say, “look, I’m ruling that your FRIC is acting as a moveable aero device for so and so reason, redesign it for me within these parameters and we’re golden.” Done!

        Why does it need to be anything other than that?

        But banning a system outright in the middle of the season is outright wrong! End of the season, more understandable, but not now.

        I question the know-how of the technical delegate who pass such systems in the first place.

      5. luqa says:

        James:

        As I suggested above, your colleagues at Auto Motor Sport suggest it is Ferrari, Mclaren and Caterham who are doing the moaning and complaining. They also suggested Mercedes and Redbull would not be running their systems at Hockenheim.

        Can you confirm this??

      6. Mer1in says:

        “Because one or two teams have taken the concept to an extreme level where the feeling is that the system contravenes the rule about moving aerodynamic devices.”

        James, that’s a rather weak argument from the FIA, given that if you follow that line of reason, then one can reach the absurd conclusion that the entire car is a “moving aerodynamic device”. Does a car pitch, roll and heave as it moves over a road, and does these motions influence its aerodynamic properties? Then why not also ban springs, anti-roll bars, and soft sidewalled tires, for example?

        Or to use another example, when flexible wings were identified, it was clear that some teams were taking that concept “to an extreme level”, yet the FIA did not ban wings outright. It is logically inconsistent for the FIA to now decide to ban FRIC outright, when there are only a few teams (maybe only one?) that have implemented an “extreme” variant of the technology.

        The decision to ban FRIC is reminiscent of the past decision to ban mass dampers, in the sense that both FIA decisions were based on similarly tortured reasoning, and therefore came across as arbitrary, capricious, and to be an obvious attempt to destabilize a team (or teams) to manipulate the outcome of a championship. This is totally against the idea sound governance for the goal of upholding the neutrality in sport. This is especially incredible in the year 2014, as many stakeholders within F1 have argued for the need to control costs for the greater good of the sport, against the backdrop of new engine rules that have (ironically) done more to cause costs to escalate than any other single rule change in decades. A ban against FRIC will surely cause another escalation of spending, as the affected teams will have to scramble to develop solutions to counterbalance the effect to their cars’ dynamics.

        I’m also rather disappointed that your blog entry has has taken an uncritical stance on the FIA’s decision. If the sport’s governance acts capriciously, without transparency, and in a manner that is obviously against common sense and to the detriment of sporting competition, then journalists like yourself have an obligation to be not simply bystanders to the event in question, but to critically call attention to the questionable issues surrounding the decision.

      7. Drgraham lewis says:

        Ditto!

        It is old hat technology, still used in different variants, and realistically anyone using it beyond the accepted parameters should have been given a quiet word!

        Not a ridiculously expensive and complex ‘ban’ in order to get certain parties back in the news and a silly attempt to spice up matters.

        That’s without the rushed alternative implementation that may well have safety implications.

        Journalists should be a little more critical of such. Obviously their living depends on being ‘in the know’ but come on…

      8. Kristiane says:

        Then simply ban that particular team from using the extreme version, rather than the whole technology!

        It’s like some team(s) years ago created flexi-wings (Red Bull is the most obvious one, and there was also Toyota), FiA didn’t ban the entire use of wings, did they? They simply asked the teams to fit a more rigid wing to the cars to comply with the rules!

        I’m sorry but this is just bl***y absurd!

      9. Grant says:

        Good point there Kristiane.

        You don’t ban WINGS as whole because some team went too far with their flexing.

        If they want to put a limit on FRIC use, then let them do so, and not ban the whole dem theng.

      10. kenneth chapman says:

        @ james….you might care to explain further your first para. what is an ‘extreme level’ and how does that differ to the ‘silverstone’ level’?. it must’ve occurred post silverstone because otherwise the cars with FRIC would’ve been DQ’d? either they were illegal then and something has happened since to move them into the area of ‘illegal’, now.

        if, for example, team A had the ‘new’ FRIC operating at silverstone then why can’t they be protested in retrospect given that they haven’t changed anything on the car since this new missive by whiting? too many unanswered questions and no explanations anywhere that i can find.

      11. kenneth chapman says:

        @ james….now that it appears to have been maclaren that has caused all the hoo har can you please let us know what was behind it all. i expect that you have good sources of information.

    2. Sossoliso says:

      Where is Ross Brawn (Once described by a ferrari co-worker as a “Man of Supreme Arrogance” ..and right too) when F1 needs him. He would have called Charlie Whitting’s Bluff and probably gotten away with it.

      1. JDanek007 says:

        He’s gone fishing – thanks to the Paddy & Toto Show…

  65. cometeF1 says:

    I am as confused as many of the posters here. I don’t particularly like mid-season changes unless the reasoning behind the decision is well balanced. Is it just a gimmick to close up the field or it is possibly because some teams went beyond the the fine line that makes one’s design within the rules or not?
    For what I have read so far on the subject, it seems that the FRIC is here to stay anyways till the season end, as I can hardly believe that teams will all agree to the changes.
    If it is done truly in the spirit of the rules so be it, but if it is only to bring the field closer than shame on you Charlie & Co. Marc

  66. Lawrence says:

    It does seem strange that the FIA question the legality of a feature half way through the season. I like to think that before each season starts the teams present their cars to the FIA and the FIA then say whether the cars are legal or not. If at any point during the year a team wants to change their car they should present that change to the FIA and the FIA then decides whether it is legal or not. The cars should be checked by the FIA at every race weekend and if a team is found to have broken the rules they should be punished. This nonsense about a feature having evolved to a point to where it is illegal is hard to read. How did the FIA let it get to that point? Surely the solution is to get the infringing team to revert back to what they were previously using (if they can) rather than ban the feature altogether. If I was an engineer, aerodynamicist in F1 I’d hate to come up with some great innovation for it be deemed legal at the start of the season and then halfway through the season deemed illegal, even if it had evolved. It is probably to make the championship more exciting but it leaves a bad taste in the mouth of fans. I am presuming this ridiculousness is aimed at Mercedes AMG, I don’t support them by the way, I am a RBR fan, but to be fair to Mercedes AMG they have a great car (and great drivers) – let us marvel at their wizardry and skill. The FIA have done this before, it angers and sickens me. Want to lose audiences and hardcore fans this is a great way of doing it. Not that anyone from the FIA actually reads this. Hopefully they do!!

    1. Grant says:

      Well said.
      “This nonsense about a feature having evolved to a point to where it is illegal is hard to read.”
      They won’t even state which stage of the EVOLUTION PROCESS was responsible for the bridge of the rules.

      1. aveli says:

        i don’t think it is about the level of development. they said they now have enough information to draw the conclusion that fric contravenes the regulations. the unfortunate thing is they haven’t gone that step further to explain how.
        simple dictatorship i guess.

      2. kenneth chapman says:

        @ grant, yes, you have echoed my exact sentiments. if the cars running FRIC were legal at silverstone then why would they be ‘illegal’ at hockenheim? at the very beginning of this thread i asked james to talk with gillan/dernie to see if they could provide us with an insight as to what was the ‘tipping point’ we are still waiting to see if that can be provided.

        someone somewhere has muddied the waters but i very much doubt whether we will ever get any satisfactory answers. we will continue to be dealt the ‘mushroom’ treatment.

    2. Steve S says:

      “It does seem strange that the FIA question the legality of a feature half way through the season.”

      I have not seen anything so strange since half way though the 2011 season, when they questioned the legality of the blown diffuser and banned it for one race. Or since the 2012 season, when they banned previously permitted exhaust mapping half-way through the season.

      The rules of F1 have always been written in sand and subject to revision at any time.

      1. Voodoopunk says:

        “I have not seen anything so strange since half way though the 2011 season, when they questioned the legality of the blown diffuser and banned it for one race. Or since the 2012 season, when they banned previously permitted exhaust mapping half-way through the season.”

        And there was such an uproar about that wasn’t there?

  67. Jason says:

    This won’t slow Merc down in any case. The system is not worth two seconds a lap in the early parts of a GP. In fact, if they did try to slow Merc down then Merc will simply go faster. I don’t believe for a second the Merc drivers have been pushing that var 100% at any point during any race. I may be wrong but the way they run from the pack from the start line seems to suggest they have a lot in hand.

    It is just typical of what is broken in F1. We have an owner who dismisses the internet. Brilliant, maybe someone ought to point him to why Google is so rich or why Facebook connects 25% of the world’s population. You get a video on YouTube getting 2 billion hits. Maybe Bernie hasn’t heard of Google Analytics yet and doesn’t understand how many people would watch F1 if there was a proper app, a Facebook plugin, a dedicated site and so much more. How many of us on here would pay say £4.99 a month to access a site that had MORE data than the TV? More radio transcript access, more information on tires, temps, driver tracker maps and so much more. You see articles written by James Allen or Gary Anderson attracting thousands of views. Quite geeky stuff at times too yet that is what powers the net. Some of us want the boring numbers.

    I have friends in Cuba who love F1 but can’t watch it. Why is there not a proper F1 site that streams races live? Sure they have useless net there since it is still dial up but the option would be nice.

    Then you have the cost cutting rubbish. Brilliant, a way to cut costs is to change the cars mid-season. So then they have to test the new build, use up more engines, more tires, more fuel and add to their design costs.

    I just don’t see how eleven of the so-called smartest businessmen around running teams cannot think of a viable solution to the cost-cutting measures. Of course, they’re all greedy ruthless guys but it makes economic sense to spend less.

    F1 is great on track, I love the way it is slowly being more relevant to road cars but fundamentally the sport is broken.

  68. Andrew says:

    I think this might see Vettel struggle again as he loses more traction/grip on the rear end.

  69. Peter says:

    Why are people surprised by this? Any of you kids remember the “Mass damper system”?

  70. kenneth chapman says:

    if mercedes have taken their version of FRIC to such a level that it surpasses what was previously deemed legal/acceptable then that is an entirely different matter. to not interfere and to not determine where this all leads could be seen as favouring one team over another.

    if it was aimed at mercedes then i would think that almost all teams would support some form of interference for no other reason than compliance. there should be no need for all teams to completely dismantle their systems.

    like many others i do not welcome mid season changes but if there has been a blatant move to gain a benefit through means seen as ‘flagrant disregard’ then sadly action needs to be taken.

    1. Elie says:

      Which is exactly what I said above. If someones take it too far.. Clarify it and stop them doing it. Dont take it away from everyone l..

  71. JohnBt says:

    Why a sudden change?
    1. TV fans are dropping like flies as it’s getting boring overall with Merc sailing into the sunset even worse than Red Bull’s domination. When Merc are like 40 secs or more ahead in each race and even Lewis and Nico are fighting will not be the same if at least three teams are chasing the championships. Whiting should not take all the blame, remember there’s a Bernie. They’re are hoping to close the gaps desperately before it gets worse.
    2. Could it be two teams, the reds and the bulls are so jealous that the silver got everything right except for some reliabilities issues which will not happen all the time, so a complain has been filed.

    F1 has been like that year in year out when a certain team hit the sweet spots and just fly away.
    Sponsors are careful with the current economic crisis worldwide, that has a huge effect for F1.

    The British GP gave me some hope as there was real racing between some drivers and continue to hope there will be more races with a similar scenario.

    Bernie need the casual fans viewership for his point of sale to sponsors and at the moment I suspect strongly it’s not going down well with the new regulations.

    Well at the moment fans opinions has fallen on deaf ears with the arrogant attitude so F1 will be sliding down from now. Yeah yeah it’s road car relevance, I couldn’t give a two hoots about that honestly. Another angle is Bernie wants this to happen so he can buy back F1 for a song.
    Won’t get fooled again, Who said that?

  72. Flawless says:

    Questioning FRIC suspensions is something I’m willing to live with, I don’t see it changing th pecking order. If anything at all, its going to bring in another pitstop though it should be noted that after the intense studies merc done on tyres last year. Practicall running sensors at every opportunity, they may just have the uppere hand wen th other teams arnt allowed to use thr FRIC suspensions.

    That being said, if the fia move to place restrictions because the merc PU is tht much better, irrespective of “reason”, I will stop watching f1. They should not be penalised for doing a better job thn the rest, especially in this regard. Its directly relevant to road cars.

  73. AdamJ says:

    It’s just puzzling… If this is the solution what on earth do they think the problem is..?

    F1 is lost enough as it is.

  74. kenneth chapman says:

    @ james…what would the chances be of getting mark gillan/frank dernie to give us an explanation of how this FRIC system has been manipulated in such a way so as to create a ‘tipping point’. if it was legal and is now illegal just what have the offenders done? would be great to get an F1 expert opinion on the technicalities. thanks

    1. warley says:

      I agree with this! The. FIA must be prepared to say exactly what aspect of FRIC has taken it “over the edge”. If they can’t then they only have the sledgehammer-to-crack-a-nut approach to ban the lot because we don’t like it very much! I suspect that the Mercedes system to pretty much unchanged since the start of the season apart from fine tuning. Mercedes could say “if you ban this now then we have been illegal all season and wish to withdraw from the Championship and will henceforth not compete in Formula one” that would put the cat among the pigeons. They might have been supported by Red Bull had they not given their spare engines to Lotus. If Merc, RB ad STR pulled out that would pretty much finish F1 and we could all stop wasting our time posting on here!

  75. kenneth chapman says:

    another query, just why are ‘moveable aero devices’ banned? why can’t teams have ‘air brakes’ as supplimentary systems ? why can’t they move wing angles at their own discretion? fortunately the FIA have no regulatory interests in the aeronautical industry. can you imagine a dreamliner with no ‘reverse’ thrust or wing flaps? doesn’t bear thinking about. the ‘pinnacle’? only in FIA fantasy.

    1. Voodoopunk says:

      “can you imagine a dreamliner with no ‘reverse’ thrust or wing flaps? doesn’t bear thinking about. the ‘pinnacle’?”

      Has nothing to do with racing, that stuff might help you land and stop but it won’t make it go any faster.

      1. kenneth chapman says:

        @ voodoopunk….my point was, why are movable aero devices banned in the first place? the examples i used were simply to point out that ‘reverse thrust’ works as a movable aero device to assist braking and variable wing angles needs no explanation. both these movable aero devices would be supplementary to F1′s already existing technology. the question remains though, why ban movable aero in the first place? maclaren employ it on their supercars same as bugatti veyron.

        maybe some ‘trickle up technology’

  76. TommyK says:

    James, my understanding is that development on the current engine is blocked, if changes want to be made the designs are released to competitors. Given F1 is the pinnacle of motor sport, funding for smaller teams aside, why couldn’t this mentality apply to FRIC/ blow diffusers whereby if teams object then the designs are rolled out to all to copy or if they agree then they’re banned?

  77. Jure says:

    Pinnacle of Motorsport… yet every other super car has adaptive aerodynamics, adaptive suspension.

    The problem with current F1 is restrictive rules. Result of these is very expensive workarounds like FRIC. Simple adaptive suspension pioneered by Williams 20 years ago does the same thing, for arguably 10′s of thousands of euros. FRIC costs millions to develop probably 10′s of millions to perfect. Just insane.

    Same goes for 13″ rims. It was made years ago to prevent blackouts under braking. How is this relevant today? Thus special 13″ tires have to be developed that are hardly cutting edge and totaly out of proportions in modern Motorsport. Look at LMP1, their high-tech tires developed by Michelin.

    Teams will always try to circumvent rules, allowing cheap solutions would help bring costs down. When cheap solutions are banned, expensive are thus developed to solve needs. Teams with leaser budgets thus never have a chance to be close.

    Back on subject, FRIC is worth 4 tenths a lap? We can expect all teams to loose similar time, still leaves Mercedes far ahead.

  78. aveli says:

    how is fric a moveable aerodynamic part?

  79. Michael says:

    @ Matías Sounds good to me. At least Ross won’t come up with stupid ideas to turn people off and destroy the sport.

  80. Paige says:

    So the rumor is that Ferrari was one of the teams threatening to protest the Mercedes FRIC system in Hockenheim.

    Isn’t it funny how everytime a non-Ferrari team has a dominant car, there is a rule change or a change of interpretation to eliminate a key component of the car?

    Make no mistake about it. Ferrari still pull the strings in the FIA when it comes to governance of the competition. And they are still the same Bond Villain that they have always been in this respect.

  81. Thompson says:

    I must be the only one who dies not seerthis has a problem – if all the teans/cars were legal at the start of the year and through development were made illegal, then surely it’s just a dialing back scenario.

    It should not affect any of the teams realistically – I mean is there any word from the FIA when these systems became illegal?

  82. James says:

    Under the same set of rules, anti roll bars and adjustable suspension are a aerodynamic aid, so why not ban them Charlie? What about reverting the aerodynamic suspension arms to straight cylindrical ones while you’re at it, even better, electromagnetically couple the tyre to the car so you don’t need a suspension arm in the first place ! That would really solve all the problems in F1 !

  83. ashley says:

    Got some inside news, Banning FRIC is not going to affect The team perking order, but my source tells me its going to be a deal breaker in the drivers championship. Nico has been setting up the car better than Lewis all season look at the sector times for the ‘set up’ part of the lap at Silverstone or other circuits. Mercedes when they had the ordinary less radical FRIC first fly away races look at the results. They are effectively handing the trophy to Lewis unless Nico picks up speed from somewhere… My source was telling me that Nico has issues with the car under braking, Fric solved this as the brake compound they had for him as a solution had a catastrophic failure. No FRIC Nico will inherently have the braking issues again.

  84. Kristiane says:

    Still no further news / info on FiA’s reason to ban the tech.

    For FRIC’s sake I’m turning off my TV. Enjoy seeing the viewing figures go further down, Bernie, FiA and Charlie.

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