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Exclusive: Reactive suspension banned

NEWS STORY
20/01/2012

Mat Coch writes:

The FIA has moved to ban the reactive suspension system believed to have been developed by Lotus, Pitpass has learned.

Last week we revealed that the system, which had initially been approved by the FIA, would likely be banned under Article 3.15 of the sport's Techincal Regulations which govern moveable aerodynamic devices.

A communication from the governing body to all teams on Friday confirmed that the system has been banned, stating that it relies on a change in length of a suspension member, including those that use the movement of the brake caliper, contravened the Technical Regulations.

Reactive suspension has been the talk of the off-season, with Lotus understood to have tested the system at the Abu Dhabi young driver test last November. It has prompted many teams to begin developing their own variations, including Ferrari which is understood to already have its own system.

It's understood the system operated under braking, with the front brake caliper rotating around the wheel up to a stop. The torque is transferred in to a suspension arm by means of hydraulics, which in theory would allow teams to run their cars lower to the ground. That in turn generates more downforce, since ride height would no longer be limited by the front wing impacting with the ground under heavy braking.

The ruling effectively strips Lotus of a system some have suggested could be worth as much as three tenths of a second per lap around an average circuit. It also means the likes of Red Bull, who are yet to develop their own solution, no longer need to divert time and money away from their main preseason development ahead of the opening test in early February.

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