If you were looking to tip the cart over on a season of comprehensive domination by one team, banning their trick suspension system mid-year may be the way to do it.
According to AUTOSPORT, that is exactly what might happen if the FIA decide to ban the Front-and-Rear Interconnected Suspension (FRIC) system.
According to the report, FIA race director Charlie Whiting feels, after examining the systems used by some of the Formula 1 teams, that it may breech the regulations regarding movable aerodynamic devices in Article 3.15 demanding that all parts that impact the aerodynamics of the car must be rigidly secured to the entirely sprung part of the car.
The FRIC system effectively links the front and rear suspension in order to keep or maintain a consistent ride height. The challenge here is that no part of a F1 car is simply taken off and chucked into the bin without a big impact on the performance of the car. The cars are designed around these components and to re-design in just two weeks’ time for the German Grand Prix would be a tall ask.
Interestingly, the ban of the FRIC system could be postponed until the 2015 season according to Whiting but that would require unanimous consent from all teams and there are a few teams in the back of the grid who are not running a FRIC system so it would be hard to see them voting to postpone a competitive edge their competitors have.
This is a huge decision and oddly it has taken nine races to determine the legality of the FRIC system? No doubt that Charlie had to look at everyone’s version but the cynic in my suspects dipping TV ratings as a reason to ban the FRIC system in hopes of closing the gap between the utterly dominant Mercedes and the rest of the field.
I am assuming Mercedes boss Nikki Lauda will say this is FRIC’n bull$h*t!