Site logo

FIA moves to ban interlinked suspension

NEWS STORY
10/07/2014

The FIA has moved to clamp down on interlinked suspension systems being developed by teams. A Technical Directive sent to teams from Charlie Whiting has clarified the governing body's stance on the systems, which he says contravene Article 3.15 of the Technical Regulations.

In recent seasons teams have developed complicated systems - Front to Rear Interlinked Suspension (FRIC) - designed to transfer suspension load from front to rear as well as diagonally across the car as they attempt to control the car's pitch and roll.

Pitch describes the rocking of a car from front to back as the suspension loads change, while roll relates to the twisting of the chassis which can result in a loss of tyre grip.

By reducing the pitch and roll the car has a more consistent aerodynamic platform, and therefore improved performance, but the FIA argues the designs fall foul of the same regulations that saw the banning of active suspension in the early 1990s.

According to Article 3.15 the primary function of suspension designs must be to improving ride quality, with any aerodynamic benefit purely incidental. Whiting's clarification therefore effectively says it is the FIA's opinion that, while the systems do improve the ride quality, the primary purpose for interlinked suspension is to improve aerodynamics.

“Having now seen and studied nearly every current design of front-to-rear linked suspension system, as well as reviewing future developments some teams have shared with us, we are firmly of the view that the legality of all such systems could be called into question,” wrote Whiting.

Within his note was also a veiled threat. While conceding a ban within the current season would require unanimous agreement from the teams (which seems unlikely given they appear unable to agree on anything), even without it Whiting claims he would consider referring cars fitted with the system to the stewards of the event.

With question marks over the financial security of a number of teams Whiting's note therefore appears rather pragmatic given the systems have little relevance to road cars and are therefore nothing more than another budgetary black hole.

Mat Coch

LATEST NEWS

more news >

RELATED ARTICLES

LATEST IMAGES

galleries >

  • Pitpass.com latest F1/Formula 1 images
  • Pitpass.com latest F1/Formula 1 images
  • Pitpass.com latest F1/Formula 1 images
  • Pitpass.com latest F1/Formula 1 images
  • Pitpass.com latest F1/Formula 1 images
  • Pitpass.com latest F1/Formula 1 images
  • Pitpass.com latest F1/Formula 1 images
  • Pitpass.com latest F1/Formula 1 images
  • Pitpass.com latest F1/Formula 1 images
  • Pitpass.com latest F1/Formula 1 images
  • Pitpass.com latest F1/Formula 1 images
  • Pitpass.com latest F1/Formula 1 images
  • Pitpass.com latest F1/Formula 1 images
  • Pitpass.com latest F1/Formula 1 images
  • Pitpass.com latest F1/Formula 1 images
  • Pitpass.com latest F1/Formula 1 images
  • Pitpass.com latest F1/Formula 1 images
  • Pitpass.com latest F1/Formula 1 images
  • Pitpass.com latest F1/Formula 1 images
  • Pitpass.com latest F1/Formula 1 images

POST A COMMENT

or Register for a Pitpass ID to have your say

Please note that all posts are reactively moderated and must adhere to the site's posting rules and etiquette.

Post your comment

READERS COMMENTS

 

1. Posted by karel, 14/07/2014 7:37

"And serving which purpose ? Realy F1 is being killed by the FIA and the over regulations, let's just quit F1 and bring it back when there is somebody with a racing mind on top of the FIA."

Rating: Neutral (0)     Rate comment: Positive | NegativeReport this comment

2. Posted by bfairey, 11/07/2014 17:56

"More crap from Whiting, what does he know about car design. Why dont we have spec cars like GP2"

Rating: Negative (-1)     Rate comment: Positive | NegativeReport this comment

3. Posted by Spindoctor, 11/07/2014 16:14

"The point of this is....?
Were this some new whizz-bang tweak that a particular genius had thought-up, then a quiet reminder and a potential referral to the Stewards would probably be in order. Unfortunately a number of teams, including Mercedes, have been developing this for a while. It isn't a secret, and must have been obvious to FIA from the 1st race that teams were implementing these systems. That would have been the time to crack the whip.

Instead we have the usual old excreta. If these systems clearly contravene the rules they are illegal, but the rules are so badly considered, and codified that it's anybody's guess. Last year's mid-season tyre changes allowed young Seb to win the title so easily it was pathetic. This year despite the initially poor performance of all but Mercedes the deficit is being clawed back. If we leave well alone, Mercedes will almost certainly win the Championship (surely they deserve to!). Implementing this "rule" just throws things up in the air, who knows how they'll land?"

Rating: Positive (1)     Rate comment: Positive | NegativeReport this comment

4. Posted by Mike Jacobson, 11/07/2014 15:56

"Once again, the FIA is thinking about shutting the stable door long after the horse bolted while C.Whiting & co. turned a blind eye. What other illegal tweaks have been lurking in the paddock for the past few years?

As for motorsport in general, and F1 in particular, being relevant to road cars, it's the best way to encourage more big-spending car makers to participate. That doesn't mean W05 bits must be able to be bolted onto an AMG SLS, let alone an A Class, but for goodness sake 13-inch diameter rims went out with cheese-cutter caps and lace-up driving gloves.

Adrian Newey's preference for a laissez-faire F1 is admirable, and would have the support of the vast majority of fans, but a few simple rules are necessary:
1. The engine need only comply with a maximum dynamic energy consumption limit.
2. The chassis need only comply with overall maximum dimensions and crash-test standards.
3. The bodywork must comply with Formula Ford 1600 aero rules (ie. no aerofoils, which have ruined motorsport as a spectacle and are irrelevant to road car design).
4. Gearshifts must be done manually.
5. Each wheel's suspension must be independent, and unable to be adjusted by the driver or team while the car is on the track.
6. The brake discs must be made from steel.
7. The tyres can be supplied by any manufacturer, and need only meet the current overall dimensions.
8. Each team's pitlane crew is limited to two, in order to render intra-race tyre replacements ineffective."

Rating: Negative (-1)     Rate comment: Positive | NegativeReport this comment

5. Posted by Skidmarks, 11/07/2014 11:18

"As I understand the article, there is not an attempt to ban the system mid-season, just get agreement from the teams (hah!) to ban it for next season. the threat is that presumably it has an effect on aero (pitch, yaw roll) and so could be considered illegal already.

I also wonder why everything has to be relevant to road cars: no other sport has to justify itself this way."

Rating: Neutral (0)     Rate comment: Positive | NegativeReport this comment

6. Posted by gturner38, 11/07/2014 3:20

"Being a budgetary black hole may be reason to ban the system for 2015 but it makes no sense to ban the suspension at the midpoint of a season, especially when it's been around for several years and all but one team use the system. Banning it no increases costs and decreases safety as the cars will be forced to run without testing a non-FRIC suspension. "

Rating: Positive (1)     Rate comment: Positive | NegativeReport this comment

7. Posted by White Lightning, 10/07/2014 18:41

"I agree with Dam Buster. It's tragic that F1 has to be 100% "relevant" to your Ford Focus sat in the drive.

What is really tragic, though, is that we've gone the other way. Technology used to be proven in F1 and passed down the motorsport pyramid to your family hatchback. Now the technology in your family hatchback is being used as the basis for limiting rules in F1. "

Rating: Neutral (0)     Rate comment: Positive | NegativeReport this comment

8. Posted by Dam Buster, 10/07/2014 18:36

"Hi Mat, firstly thanks for a great site and podcast. It's great the information you share, the polar opposite in fact to the FIA - how useless are those yellow dots on the PC version of live timing.....

Anyway, with what you were saying on the last podcast, about if you can't stand the heat get out of the fire; I was wondering if anyone else here doesn't care if some of the systems have no relevance to road cars? We're watching Formula 1, it's meant to be the pinnacle of technology - not everything can be ported over to road cars.

Personally, I take Mr Newey's view on F1 - give them maximum dimensions (height, width, Length and weight) and let them come up with what they want to come up with."

Rating: Positive (4)     Rate comment: Positive | NegativeReport this comment

Share this page

X

Copyright © Pitpass 2002 - 2014. All rights reserved.

about us  |  advertise  |  contact  |  terms  |  privacy & security  |  rss