How much will an FIA ban on FRIC suspension affect the order in F1?
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.

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.

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.

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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.


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.


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 !


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?


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.


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


how is fric a moveable aerodynamic part?


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.


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?

kenneth chapman

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.


“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.

kenneth chapman

@ 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’

kenneth chapman

@ 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


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!


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.


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.


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?

kenneth chapman

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.


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..


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


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


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.


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!!


“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.


“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?


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.

kenneth chapman

@ 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.


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.


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


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.


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.


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


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.

kenneth chapman

@ 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.

kenneth chapman

@ 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.


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!


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.


“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.

Drgraham lewis


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…



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??


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!


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.

Richard Bernecker

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.


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.


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.

Tom in Adelaide

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.


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

kenneth chapman

@ 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?

kenneth chapman

@ 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………


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.


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

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


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?


if fric not 9 years old? so why now?


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.


“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).


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?


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.


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.


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


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

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