Formula One is always ripe with new innovation. The aerodynamic black art has been the main focus, rightfully so, for a long time and each component of an F1 car is designed with intense scrutiny. Materials used and designs made are the latest technology and innovation can muster. the latest of these innovative areas of design is centered on the suspension of an F1 car.
The technology is know a FRIC or front and rear interconnected suspension. It seeks to connect the front and rear of the car for balance and neutrality. As AUTOSPORT nicely points out, the teams did address this back in the 90’s with active suspension but that was banned and some claim the Williams chassis without the active suspension was con contributory to the Ayrton Senna crash.
A nice piece by AUTOSPOT today quotes Ross Brawn as suggesting this will be the magic bullet that solves Mercedes AMG’s performance deficit:
“I think it is too early to draw any conclusions,” he said. “I don’t know if the pecking order has been established yet and I don’t know what the other teams are doing.
“I feel we have made good progress with the car compared to what we had last year but it is very difficult to judge what other people are doing, why they are doing and whether it is contributing to their performance.
“We have improved in lots of areas and that has at least given us a step forward this year. It is not enough but it is a step forward.”
Could be the next black hole of resources that usually accompanies any new innovative area in F1:
“You want a nice softly sprung car, but you cannot do that because you compromise the aerodynamics too much.
“So every year I have been in F1 I have always tried to seek that ideal balance between suspension performance and aerodynamic performance, and it is no different today to how it has been for many years.”
F1 teams have a way of pouring money into an innovative notion that they feel could be revolutionary for their performance and give them an edge. If the FIA doesn’t determine the FRIC technology to be out of the regulations, teams could spend millions in their quest for the perfect system.