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As we mentioned in our podcast, the FIA have taken a distant stance on the FRIC issue swirling in Formula 1. The issue at hand is that FIA race director, Charlie Whiting, feels the systems could be in breach of the regulations and intimated that the FIA would be willing to delay a ban on the devices until 2015 but that would require unanimous consent from all teams involved.

As AUTOSPORT reveals today, that unanimity is not likely to happen—nor did we think it would—and McLaren’s announcement yesterday that they would enter the German Grand Prix this weekend without the FRIC system added fuel to the fire.

It seems that, as we mentioned, the small teams will not be too keen to agree to a delay on the ban and this could—I use the word “could” here—impact Mercedes as some have suggested their FRIC system is very integrated and the car is very reliant on it for its performance. As with all assumption, that may be wishful thinking amongst all 20 cars that are eating Merc’s dust right now.

The FIA said:

“We have not yet got, nor do we expect to get, the agreement of all teams to the proposed amnesty,” an FIA spokesperson said.

What do you think? If they go to Germany with a FRIC system on the car, surely one team will protest and the Stewards will have to make a call. They will know that Charlie Whiting is looking to ban the system in 2015 at least and feels they contravene the regulations. Will it impact Mercedes or any other teams performance?

PS-  a “proposed amnesty”? Really? What an odd choice of words. What about proposed delay on system ban? Why load the issue with challenging words if you were willing to simply let it go until 2015? At first the FIA said it may violate regulations and then they said the prime mover for the decision was runaway costs…well, which is it? now you’re using words like “proposed amnesty” on something as banal as a regulation change for 2015 banning the use of FRIC. Really FIA? Check a dictionary next time.

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An F1 fan since 1972, NC has spent over 25 years in the technology industry and as a CTO, he focuses on technology integration in commercial workspace design, AV systems integration, digital media strategies, technology planning, consulting, speaking, presenting, sales, content strategy, marketing and brand building.
  • I’m quickly coming to the conclusion that Charlie Whiting is the f’ing problem.

    • Is he the FRIC’ing problem? I know, I’m making a meal out of this acronym. :)

  • I received and email from a new F1 viewer asking if there was precedent of banning systems mid-year. I will mention Renault’s J-damper as a huge issue that seriously hampered Renault’s performance mid-year when it was banned. Ferrari’s movable floor too. there is precedent.

    • MIE

      The ban had to be announced now, to prevent teams spending money on the system for next years car. The FIA gave the teams the option of continuing to use the system this season, but since the collapse of FOTA agreement between competitors was never likely.

      While there is precedent with the mass damper the Renault were using (the J-damper is a McLaren code name for an inerter, and so far this is still legal), at least in that case the mass moved relative to the sprung part of the car. FRIC achieves a similar effect, but what is the part that moves relative to the sprung part of the car? Has the FIA effectively banned hydraulic fluid now? I wonder if there will be any unintended consequences of this.

  • Mr. Obvious

    Seems to me that if, in fact, all of the teams have been using such a system for at least this season-to-date, doesn’t that represent a de facto “implied amnesty”? The difference in this case compared to the recent examples that led to a mid-season ban is that in those cases, just one or perhaps two teams were running them.

    • I don’t think the teams in the back half of the grid are using it.

      • Mr. Obvious

        From what I’ve seen, it would appear that everyone except Force India are running one.

  • Leave the frackin’ FRIC alone you FIA freaks!

  • Dangough

    According to Sky everyone except Force India have the system which is why Force india would not agree to the delay. The same article even mentioned Marussia as a team that have a relatively integrated system and that Caterham and Sauber might have been the ones pushing for an FIA ruling to peg back the difference between the have points and the no points!