FIA preparing to ban FRIC suspension

F1 Fanatic Round-up

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In the round-up: F1 teams could face having their Front Rear Inter-Connected suspension systems banned as soon as the next round of the championship.


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F1 set to ban FRIC suspension systems (Autosport)

“Less than a fortnight before the next race at Hockenheim, the FIA has informed F1 teams that it believes the Front-and-Rear Interconnected Suspension (FRIC) systems used by most of them are illegal.”

Caterham must change to survive – Kolles (Reuters)

“There will be more changes, more things to be done. I prefer to have 200 safe jobs than 300 lost jobs.”

Sainz Jr in the frame for Caterham seat (Adam Cooper’s F1 Blog)

“Carlos Sainz Jr has emerged as a possible candidate for Caterham thanks to the team’s relationship with Red Bull – and a deal has been discussed for the Spaniard to race as early as this season.”

“Nikis Kommentar nicht sehr hilfreich” (Auto Motor und Sport, German)

FIA race director Charlie Whiting describes Niki Lauda’s comments about the Silverstone red flag as “unhelpful”, saying it was wrong to claim it was not necessary to repair the barrier Kimi Raikkonen had hit because it was unlikely to be struck a second time, and that Raikkonen should have taken more care when he rejoined the track.

‘Renault changes positive’ (Sky)

“It’s in all our interests to try and close that gap down to Mercedes.”

British Grand Prix drops to eight year low (The F1 Broadcasting Blog)

“From a scheduling point of view, the decision to have the British Grand Prix on the same weekend as the Wimbledon finals and the Tour de France departing from Yorkshire was a disaster by FOM and the FIA.”


Comment of the day

@MazdaChris expects the low profile tyres Pirelli will test today would be a step forward for F1 if they were introduced.

When a car is going across the rumble strip for instance, at the moment the tyre is deforming over that surface while the suspension isn’t moving very much. On a car with low profile tyres, it’ll need to have a more pliant suspension set-up with a greater range of movement – the tyre can’t deform and remain in contact with those kind of bumps, so the suspension needs to do the job instead.

But this isn’t a drawback, it’s a benefit. Springs and dampers are a fairly precise science, and can be controlled to quite a fine degree. Whereas the squash of a tyre is dependent on a large number of factors – tyre pressure, heat, level of wear, and so on. The level of suash and deformation is not a constant; it shifts during the race (and is one of the reasons why different cars seem to work better at different points in the race and during stints). Whereas with a low profile tyre the performance level is pretty constant.

You also do lose that lateral movement, which isn’t desirable since the frequency of the lateral movement isn’t the same as the frequency of the chassis, meaning you can get a sort of disharmony between how the chassis and the tyres load up during cornering. You can end up with a weird backlash against the tyre as the suspension is put under load, which can make the car really unstable and unpredictable while changing direction. Again, this isn’t a constant and it’s not something that’s easy to predict, so it’s pot luck whether or not a car really suffers from this. And again, a low profile minimises this effect, giving a more reliable reaction no matter the application.

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On this day in F1

A huge crash brought the first start of the French Grand Prix to a halt on this day 25 years ago. Unlike today, the F1 rules at the time allowed races to be started afresh, and so the grid was reformed and the race began again.

When it did Ayrton Senna dropped out immediately with a broken differential, leaving pole sitter Alain Prost to win ahead of Nigel Mansell and Riccardo Patrese.

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100 comments on “FIA preparing to ban FRIC suspension”

  1. Nice to see Kolles is rapidly making Caterham into Midland/HRT#2. Can’t wait for Sakon Yamamoto to return!

    1. Don’t forget Karthikeyan…

      1. Interestingly, both have been involved with Jordan/Spyker and HRT. I guess the question should be; why not just have both and get it over with?

        1. True, that would be the easy way for them. Maybe get Liuzzi as third driver as well.

      2. Narain is biding his time in Japanese F3000… waiting for the call :P

    2. My thoughts exactly! The team is underfunded and hence, probably understaffed, so where’s the logic in his statement? He’s trying to sounds smart and sharp, but he sounds arrogant. This essentially means that the new owners have even less money than the old ones who didn’t have any money either.

      1. this makes me wonder, will marcus stay? he did bring alot of money while Kamui didnt? i guess we will see, Klien, nahrain, Yamamoto and maybe some other from gp2 with alot of money

  2. Graham (@guitargraham)
    9th July 2014, 0:13

    yeah, lets ban something integral thats been on the cars for years whilst in the middle of the season, that makes perfect sense. FIA couldnt run a **** up in a brewery

    1. Give it some time, they might just ban it for one race (blown diffusers, 2011) or re-instate in 8 years from now (traction control 1993-2001).

      I do thoroughly enjoy how the FIA tend to ‘suddenly’ realize they should ban or allow something. As a 10 year old, I never could make sense of the way and time Traction Control was back at Spain in 2001. 13 years later and I still don’t see the logic in it.

      1. As I recall traction control & all the other electronic aids were originally supposed to be introduced from the start of 2001 but not everyone was able to get there systems ready so the introduction was delayed until Spain to give the software engineer’s some time to ensure everyone had working systems.

        Those driver aids were something the FIA didn’t really want to introduce but in 2000 they found that they couldn’t police the ECU’s to say with 100% certainty that nobody was using these aids.
        So they decided (Under some pressure from BMW who wanted all the electronic aids) that allowing them was a fair solution until they could find a way to better police the teams systems.

    2. The irony is that they’re supposedly on a quest to lower costs, yet they decide to introduce the most complicated hybrid power unit in existence, they rewrite the regulations every year, they introduce changes mid-season, etc., all of which are very expensive.

      1. Exactly @ironcito
        Why they can’t see that these “moving goalposts” are Causing an increase in costs I’ll never know

  3. Is this FRIC decision for real?

    The FIA has been looking at FRIC systems for SIX YEARS and suddenly realises “oh wait this is actually illegal!”. Having passed the cars as legal at every race since?

    And teams are supposed to just remove the part of the car which connects the chassis to the wheels, and redesign the whole thing, in a week or so? Who is smoking what over there?

    A cynic would suggest that a politically well connected team who aren’t doing that well this year have engineered this. Or that someone is scared that there’ll be a 51 point lead after Brazil in the drivers’ championship.

    Some of the best racing we’ve had for years and the FIA still can’t leave well enough alone.

    1. The FIA has been looking at FRIC systems for SIX YEARS and suddenly realises “oh wait this is actually illegal!”. Having passed the cars as legal at every race since?

      The article does speak of Mercedes and other current teams having more intricate systems than the system Renault (now Lotus) pioneered in 2008, and besides the Renault that year struggled so the FIA, though unlikely, might’ve thought “well they haven’t really gained from this so no point of banning this” or the more likely reason is them not detecting the system because it was less intricate.

      We could end up having a similar situation to the one in Silverstone three years ago with the off-throttle blown diffusers, I actually can’t believe the FIA are considering making the same mistake. I’m sure the teams, if not as mistake-prone as the governing body, wouldn’t risk jeopardising the safety of their cars and drivers by rushing in less safe, untested versions of their cars, not knowing what they’re bringing to the track first Friday practice in over a week’s time.

      1. Shades of Indianapolis 2005.

        1. More darker shades of Germany 2006 with Renault’s Mass Damper system, which was banned overnight.

      2. The article does speak of Mercedes and other current teams having more intricate systems than the system Renault (now Lotus) pioneered in 2008

        Mercedes system is largely unchanged from last year, they were close to getting it right in 2012, and by now its really balanced. That is 2,5 years they are running it.

        To me this is exactly the same thing as banning exhaust blowing mid season (which was then allowed again until the end of the year), or the decision on the Mass damper or on the Michelin tyre grooves. Its the FIA rigging the championship.

    2. I’m sick and tired of FIA. I can’t understand how a sport so sophisticated is so poorly run and poorly regulated.

    3. Set the scene: A day at FIA HQ and Charlie Whiting and Jean Todt are sitting around chatting over champagne.
      CW: I’m bored
      JT: Let’s make up some new rules. Yeah, that would be fun!
      CW: OK, how about this: We add trumpets on the tail pipes of the cars so it sounds like really loud farts when they accelerate! We’ll tell everyone we’re doing it to increase engine noise and improve the show.
      JT: Yeah, but it seems a bit contrived…even by our standards. How about this: We put snipers in the trees and have them randomly shoot out tires on the track?
      CW: No, we tried that last year at Silverstone, remember? The fans started to pick up on it…but is sure was fun to watch Pirelli scramble around and explain the “blowouts”!!! LOL
      JT: Oh yeah, that was a good one indeed. OK, how about this: we take the FRIC system that everyone has been using for years and we tell them it’s suddenly illegal!
      CW: Oh come now, how would we explain it?
      JT: We’ll tell them it’s a safety issue. They’re all stupid, they’ll never figure out that we’re trying to cut into the Mercedes lead.
      CW: Yes, F1fans are like mushrooms, you keep them in the dark and shat upon and tell them they’re better off and they’ll never know we’re just screwing with them.
      JT: OK, it’s settled then. No more FRIC. But when do we implement it? It will take times for the teams to safely test it and have their car running well.
      CW: Oh no, that would take all the fun out of it! Let’s do it next week and we can watch them squirm. We’ll claim imminent danger or some such. LMAO!!!
      JT: Right. Well, that’s settled. Now about those guest drivers from WWE and the clown car for safety cars….
      CW: No, I’m bored again. Let’s go skeet shooting and kill some peasants! PULL!!!
      JT: Oh Charlie, you always know how to make me smile!

      1. Oh, I meant to dedicate the above post to the other guys who are sick of all this :)

        @jcost @bascb @hohum @younger-hamii @hairs @guitargraham @ironcito @npf1 @jaymenon10 @jerseyf1 @bascb0 and many others

  4. So 6 years after FRIC suspension was introduced into F1, only now its illegal?
    For a fast sport, F1 has some pretty slow authorities… or they’re trying to reduce Merc’s advantage / punishing them for doing a good job.

    TV audiences don’t include all the people watching on mobile devices and laptops (legally or illegally!) which is always going to get more popular.

    I’m looking forward to seeing the new rims tomorrow!

    1. “or they’re trying to reduce Merc’s advantage / punishing them for doing a good job”

      Isnt this just business as usual in F1? They quash anything innovative all time, this isnt the first.

      For a sport that brands itself as the “pinnacle of motorsport”, they appear to be more at home if teams just bolt on an Prius engine onto a go-kart with a few bits of wing here and there.

      WHAT THE FRIC?!!

    2. TV audiences don’t include all the people watching on mobile devices and laptops (legally or illegally!) which is always going to get more popular.

      This is one of the main flaws of the sport, especially Bernie, it’s behind the times (just look at WEC and sports car racing as a whole) and can’t keep track of technological development on the automotive and digital side of it. As the pinnacle of Motorsport, it should be advancing the technology to new levels (and that’s where F1 stakes its claim as a “unique” racing category), not rebuffing them completely.

    3. It is understood that moto sports demand evolving rules but the pace FIA changes regulations is harming the sport. F1 needs periods of stable rules.

  5. Friccin Hell, now keeping the chassis level is an aerodynamic device, interconnected suspensions have been, to my definite knowledge, around since the 1960s (BMC Hydroelastic) and I suspect the 1950s (Citroen DS) or earlier, Jaguar made much of their “anti-dive” front suspension geometry so long ago I can’t recall which decade it came from, the point being, none of these systems were introduced for aerodynamic benefit, keeping the chassis level has so many other benefits even for cars with 15cm/6″ ground clearance.
    Any team without a FRIC system or one that is more trouble than it is worth will want an immediate ban, who knows, Caterham might win in Germany, just what Bernie wants, but would it be good for F1s future?

    1. Friccin Hell

      I see what you did there.

    2. @hohum It looks like the FIA have decided to take the ‘moveable aerodynamic device’ rule as a device to potentially shake up the racing (or specifically to harm the leading competitor which if they have seen all of the systems they may know is gaining a significant advantage from it). The way this rule has been used in recent years is just ludicrous, it’s intention was always clear (to stop moving wings etc for safety reasons).

      Under their current interpretation surely having any suspension at all means all cars have a moveable aerodynamic device and teams should therefore be forced to race without suspension on their cars from Germany too.

    3. but would it be good for F1s future?

      Nope, not even slightly.

      Trust the FIA to try to label something as ‘illegal’ to ban it in a ‘really well thought out move that will trick the fans to believing that’s the real reason they’re doing this, rather than to try to reduce any advantage a team has to spice up the racing.’
      We aren’t stupid FIA, we can see right through you and it will not work.

  6. Wouldn’t mind seeing a list of cars without FRIC, did a quick google search and Mercedes, Lotus, Red Bull, McLaren, Williams, Force India and Ferrari all seem to have it (didn’t bother with the back runners). That’s enough to suggest to me that it wont be banned, at least not this year. Perhaps those with the most underdeveloped systems will try to remove theirs and protest, but that seems like it’d be a crap shoot as to whether they’d get any advantage.

    1. @skipgamer, no. It takes only one team to protest the legality of the current cars. Remember 2011 when HRT threatened to question the legality of the blown-diffuser cars? Colin Kolles is back in F1 just in time.

      1. The back runners all run engines from the top teams, and some of them even use some of the resources, they wouldn’t want those resources to suddenly become excessively expensive to them so I suspect they won’t fight it too much

    2. Force India have run without theirs in several races already.

    3. According to Craig Scarborough (who writes occasional technical pieces for Autosport), every single team in F1 has developed some sort of interconnected suspension system. Sharon H is right to point out that Force India have only used their system intermittently during the season, but I believe that they were planning on fitting the system later in the season.

  7. Pure insanity. Even the rule itself is stupid.

    Article 3.15 is the catch-all regulation that relates to moveable aerodynamic devices. It outlaws any part of the car that influences the aerodynamics that is not “rigidly secured to the entirely sprung part of the car (rigidly secured means not having any degree of freedom).”

    By the letter of law. the steering mechanism is against the rules. Turning the wheels has an effect on the airflow over the car, and is not rigidly secured to the car.


    1. Right, let’s ban steering !

      1. Banning steering would improve Maldonado’s racing the same way that banning talking would improve Hamilton’s likability :)

        1. “ the same way that banning talking would improve Hamilton’s likability :) ”

          I keep thinking this too… he just needs to stop talking !!

    2. Jack (@jackisthestig)
      9th July 2014, 1:18

      Perhaps the drivers should be outlawed too, their helmets are not ‘rigidly secured to the entirely sprung part of the car’, and they influence airflow to the rear of the car!

      1. Nah, just velcro them to the back of the cockpit.

    3. This rule is moot. Three simple letters make it so, and they are D R S. How the hell can there be one rule that says you can have a moveable device for ‘the show’ and then not have another device (which is essentially unrelated to aero anyway) which ALL the cars seem to have a version of anyway? This series must be run by complete and utter Muppets. And that is why I now love sports cars.

      1. Ryan Fairweather
        9th July 2014, 11:48

        Amen brother, amen!

        Someone needs to take F1 back to basics. *cough* Not Bernie *cough*

    4. BJ (@beejis60)
      9th July 2014, 6:01

      Well the hidden axle shaft in the suspension arm should then be banned, as well as suspension arms. And wheels. and the steering wheel. And…


      1. A DRS with zero degrees of freedom. Now that’s a system I could get on board with.

      2. The regulation the FIA are raising (article 3.15) begins thus:

        With the exception of the driver adjustable bodywork described in Article 3.18(in addition to minimal parts solely associated with its actuation)

        That’s the DRS. Observations about other, non-exempt parts like wheels, suspension, steering racks, helmets and the entire drivetrain that can be seen “influencing its aerodynamic performance” remain valid.

        1. We know – it was in a joking context.

  8. Jack (@jackisthestig)
    9th July 2014, 0:32

    The Premier League was established by the teams themselves, ‘breaking away’ from the football league. That’s why even the relegated teams get such a share of the TV revenue rather than letting most of it be siphoned-off by anonymous owners and a dodgy old man with a pudding basin haircut.

    1. Hey now, that pudding basin haircut was the height of fashion back in the ’60’s. Right around the time Bernie had his last good idea, oddly enough.

      1. Jack (@jackisthestig)
        9th July 2014, 1:05

        I’ve always thought he styles himself on Dennis Waterman. Perhaps he is a huge fan of TV’s Minder, Terry McCann’s hair-do and Arthur Daley’s business morals.

    2. Surely Bernie’s hair is a wig?!?

  9. With everything that gets banned, restricted or whatever, the FIA might as well cut the cr*p and make the F1 a spec series…

  10. The FIA thoroughly abuse enforcement of the moveable aerodynamics regulation, to the extent where it almost appears as if they have no alternative argument in any accused infringement.

    Since when did the suspension become directly an aerodynamic competent? FRIC is as much – if not significantly more – useful for chassis stability, as was Lotus’ reactive ride height device (which was also banned under that regulation).

    Even EBD’s were classified under that, which is hardly relevant as exhaust gases are not part of the car.

    Even omitting for their incompetence in stifling perfectly valid innovations under the regulations, do they not recognise the monumental costs that would be incurred if a team were required to remove such an integral part of the car mid-season? And how ludicrously unfair it is to ban something which gives the team a competitive advantage, that was ruled entirely legal at the beginning of the season?

    Mercedes – and other teams using the system- have invested a lot in refining it and should absolutely be allowed to reap the benefits, particularly considering the legality has presumably only been brought into question with the intention of “equalising the field”. By all means ban it for 2015 as I’m sure it is a great expense, but not mid season – not when it will require a huge amount of resource to redesign.

    And also, learn to loosen up a bit. The constrictiveness of the regulations is appalling, and is driving away people like Adrian Newey. And when you are wearing out the designers, then I’m afraid you have killed the spirit of F1.

    1. 2015,and 18″ wheels, a perfect time cost-wise to bring in new rules as a change to low profile tyres will require a completely new suspension anyway.

      1. That makes sense – but the proposal doesn’t @hohum

      2. yes, that would make sense. But this is F1, so I guess we will have a farce where the field is artificially mixed up when teams have to disconnect their connected systems next race before the FIA overturns its ban again.

    2. @vettel1 it’s 2011 all over again – to me it seems they wanna brake Mercedes dominance just like they did with RBR. This has nothing to do with “regulations” but is all about fixing results for the rest of the season.

  11. Caterham seem to be increasingly turning into Red Bull’s 3rd team. Regarding Sainz though, I seem to remember Kolles did likewise with a certain Daniel Ricciardo at HRT. If it happens, good on him for going with youth again (OK, and the money!).

    1. If he replaces Ericcson that would probably be an overall improvement of the line-up.

      1. Ericsson brings more money… plus it’ll look good for Sainz Jr to be beating him. A shame for Kamui though… even with a worse car, he’s been beating Chilton regularly and taking it to Bianchi. If his Japanese sponsorship has run out, where can Kamui go? WEC with Toyota?

        Hopefully Kamui can race up to Japan or Russia at least. RB want Sainz to win FR3.5 most of all before moving into F1, perhaps debuting at COTA like Kvyat did. But that depends on the money.. Caterham are becoming the Red Bull ‘C’ team, as only those teams will use Renault in 2015.. Kolles is doing it to maintain survival, as he stated above.

    2. WilliamB (@william-brierty)
      9th July 2014, 8:37

      @deej92 – For me this Sainz link confirms the already likely prospect of Red Bull money being in the midst of Caterham’s new ownership. The Red Bull Junior Programme is fast becoming a victim of it own success, having essentially found too many talents and having too few seats on offer. A Red Bull “C team” in the shape of Caterham would help that, and also recoup Red Bull’s losses over unpaid gearboxes entrusted to the Leafield outfit.

    3. My question is, why not Felix da Costa?

      1. WilliamB (@william-brierty)
        9th July 2014, 9:39

        @jcost – It’s a very good question, and last year, when has was passed over for Kvyat, the answer was “he’s underperforming in FR3.5”. And yet, we now know a) that was thanks to Arden struggling (the Caterham backed team had a fraction of the budget of rivals DAMS and Fortec) not Da Costa struggling, and b) his impressive qualifying performances in the first three rounds of his DTM career serve as a litmus test of his phenomenal speed. Furthermore, whilst Sainz and Lynn are admittedly dominating their respected series, they are racing against perhaps the poorer grids FR3.5 and GP3 has fielded in a while, whereas Da Costa is comparing well against perhaps the grid that can hold a candle to F1 in terms of breadth of talent. Put simply, there is no reasonable answer to the question: “why not Felix da Costa?”.

  12. It was only a matter of time before they found something on the Merc to ban (assuming they have the best system). Doing it now is a terrible and potentially dangerous move though.

  13. TV viewing numbers going down, what a surprise, even down here in the antipodies it was obvious that Wimbledon was going to draw a lot of viewers away from F1, and add the world cup and tour de france to the mix, how many hours of extra TV viewing does Bernie think people can do.

    Looked like a good crowd though, any figures for that?

    1. @Hohum – I was there, and after the race they announced that they had record figures for both Friday and Saturday, and 120,000 people there for Sunday, so not a bad turnout at all, considering how pricey it is.

      1. @jamiefranklinf1 Kind of disproving the theory that viewing numbers have anything to do with the lack of engine noise – if it did that it would affect attendance numbers rather than TV viewing figures. Although I admit at Silverstone there was likely to be a good turnout anyway with a British title contender.

        1. Mmm……..But the viewers, of course, only got to hear the lack of noise once they actually got to the event, don’t forget. I went to Barcelona, heard the pathetic engine sound, and won’t be attending again, after over 30 GP’s. Loving this year on the TV though.

          1. I was at Silverstone, Liked the new engine sound & will continue to attend more races & continue watching F1 on the TV.

            Apart from Abu Dhabi, Boycotting that due to the silly double points.

  14. Interesting news regarding Sainz. Wouldn’t be surprised to see Red Bull do it after they did the same with Ricciardo at HRT. To be honest I think it can only be a good thing and I’d like to see more of the same. It brings some income to a smaller team while also ensuring there is genuine talent on the grid.

    I just think it’s a shame that Red Bull didn’t strike up this sort of deal with Caterham at the start of the season to field Antonio Felix Da Costa. He was a talent that I and a lot of other people were pretty excited about and now that he’s in the DTM it’s unlikely we’ll ever see him race in F1.

    1. Racing in DTM didn’t harm Paul di Resta’s hopes of getting into F1 @jackysteeg.

      1. @geemac Racing in F1 didn’t harm his hopes of getting back into DTM either!

        1. @ajokay DTM, the motorsports equivalent of a revolving door for grumpy racing drivers.

    2. WilliamB (@william-brierty)
      9th July 2014, 8:31

      @jackysteeg – I disagree about Da Costa. If he was utterly anonymous in DTM then yes, perhaps he would have no chance of an F1 promotion, but he hasn’t been anonymous, and has been very fast at every race other than the Norisring. And what’s more he’s probably racing against the only grid in the world that can, in terms of breadth of quality, hold a candle to F1, whereas Sainz and Lynn are competing perhaps the poorest list of rivals FR3.5 and GP3 has fielded for a while. If Red Bull money is in the midst of Caterham’s new investors, which I think is likely owing to the fact that Red Bull need a “C team” (because they have found more junior talents than they have seats) and it would serve as payment for Caterham’s gearbox debt’s to Red Bull, then I think there is an excellent chance of a Sainz-Da Costa line up.

  15. So to delay the ban, the teams must agree unanimously. While in stupid decisions they do agree, I’m afraid someone might pull the mat. If Caterham can redesign the suspension, I can see them do it in a desperate move to score points (with everyone else failing). Red Bull or Ferrari might pull that as well, with their huge resources, for a chance to slow down Mercedes.

  16. The French GP 89 was also the debut of Jean Alesi, running second at times and finishing 4th. I started to root for him at that very day.
    Also, Ivan Capelli (driving in Adrian Neweys 2nd car-design in F1) had a mentionable good race, which unfortunately ended in an engine-failure. Also, Mansell took 2nd while having to start from the pits, it was one of his best races.
    So all in all, if you are looking for an old GP to rewatch, this is a good one.

  17. maarten.f1 (@)
    9th July 2014, 6:51

    It’s just so cringeworthy to watch the marshals at work in the old days. The way they flip that car around, without making sure the driver is alright is just terrible. I’m glad Formula 1’s safety standards have improved so much over the past 20 years.

    1. @maarten-f1 Nice analogy. Like it.

      1. its not an analogy

    2. @maarten-f1, Fire was uppermost in everybodies mind, speed was considered essential.

  18. Note to Nikki Lauda: Anyone predicting Germany would rout Brazil 7-1 would have been called crazy and it will never happen. That’s why they took an hour to fix the barrier at Silverstone.

    1. @mtlracer Fair point, but I think it’s the method of the fixing rather than the fix he is complaining about. I read his comment to imply – put in a temporary (quick) fix such as tyres and fix the barrier permanently later. A pre sealed bundle of tyres such as used extensively already could possibly have been craned into place, given that the barrier was essentially intact but damaged. I think that he made the point about safety rules to emphasise that they didn’t consider (Safe) alternatives to the defined permanent alternative. His point was lost because of the way he suggested safety was too much of a priority.

      1. @mtlracer I disagree. I think to make the anology work one would have to argue the odds of Germany routing Brazil 7-1 not once, but twice.

        That was Lauda’s point for that particular spot on the track. He acknowledged that at other more traditional spots, like at the corners where the cars were going wide, sure…much greater odds of more than one car going off at the same spot, which is why they often use tires at those spots…but not where KR hit. And the point shouldn’t be lost that he agreed with the red flag, so it’s not like he is anti-safety. Just pro-common sense.

  19. God I hope Kamui’s seat is safe. Kolles is already doing things I don’t like. There’s just so many things unsavoury about him.

    1. Ryan Fairweather
      9th July 2014, 11:55

      I wouldn’t be surprised to see both go after the summer break. Shame if it does. The car is a dog though cant see them scoring unless Singapore is a crashfest.

    2. It will be interesting to see what they will do, but I don’t see Kobayashi remaining with the team for too much longer. Kolles is going where the money is, and therefore I see him partnering Sainz with Ericsson. I’d like to see Frijns given a shot but that’s probably unlikely right now. They certainly need all the money they can get now after losing major sponsors GE, Airbus and Safran.

  20. No doubt this (FRIC) will be another instance when the real fans get no say, the sporting order changes drastically and to the casual watcher (if there still are any with pay-to-view) for a reason that makes little sense and takes half an hour and a history lesson in unsprung aerodynamics (which this isn’t) to explain. Time for another letter to the FiA.

    1. @splittimes Actually on technical matters i think it’s right that the fans don’t have any say. They need fully qualified engineers to take a close look at these FRIC systems, and the regulations, and determine whether they comply with the rules or not (hopefully in an unbiased manner and with no regard to how it would affect the racing). If they don’t comply, then they need to decide how to remove them from the cars in a way that is practical and doesn’t prevent teams being able to field a car (because it seems most teams have one of these systems and an across the board ban might mean cancelling one or more grand prix). Sounds like a major redesign would be required so i don’t see how it could be done mid-season.

      Given that most teams are running a system i’d expect them to continue until the end of this season at least, unless they can be modified in some way to make them legal in which case that could be implemented sooner. As others have pointed out, a change to 18” wheels would seem like the perfect time to remove FRIC if they want to. I don’t know how FRIC affects the racing, other than obviously being a performance benefit. But if it costs a lot to develop, make cars easier to drive, makes it harder to race close to the car infront etc, these would be decent reasons to remove it for future seasons.

      1. @keithedin I agree that leaving technical matters in the hands of amateurs is a bad idea (even well-informed amateurs), but expecting the sport’s supporters to get behind a change that they either don’t understanding or have vocally disagreed with would be naive. There is plenty of criticism on here for things moving towards a spec series, and ignoring that makes no sense. It is a technical sport, and most frequent viewers have a good understanding of what is going on and why. To leave them (us) out of the process is a great disservice.

  21. I can’t say I am 100% clear on how FRIC works, but I know enough to be sure that it does not constitute a moveable aerodynamic device. The FIA really are clutching at straws if they try to justify banning it on that basis.

    I don’t like the sound of this though, seems to be the FIA trying to artificially spice up the show by taking away another ingenious toy from the teams. The aim is probably to slow Mercedes, but who is to say their system is the best? By all accounts the majority of the grid run such systems and Renault were the first to do so, so banning it would just slow everyone down.

  22. Coincidence about FRIC suspension and the new 18 inch wheels??? I think not.

  23. Pro Wrestling on wheels. The other day I watched a match where the wrestlers had to have one arm tied behind their backs. I guess the FIA watched the same thing and thought “what a great Idea.”

    I’m done with F1. Just tell the the results of the races… On second thoughts don’t bother, the winner is not the best driver/team anymore.

  24. It’s ridiculous that the FIA can just decide mid-season that something which has been there from the start is all-of-a-sudden illegal with sod all time to fix it. It’s not unprecedented but it’s no less silly for that.

    The most ridiculous part of all is that by default the ban is in place and there needs to be unanimous support against it in order to delay it. Something I’m sure the FIA are confident won’t happen.

  25. Regarding FRIC…I am suspicious on several fronts.

    I find it suspicious that this letter to the teams has been put out there for Autosport to publish. So now we the public are left hanging as to what may happen, including the rest of the season being run under protest one way or another. ie. would it not have been better to settle this issue ahead of the public knowing it is even an issue…suddenly…after 6 years?

    So I am suspicious that this is just headline grabbing controversy intentionally put out there to keep the attention on F1, and that in fact the ban on this will be put off but the rhetoric will be ramped up.

    I am suspicious, like others, that this might be a way to prevent one team running away with the Championships. This doesn’t make sense to me as we have a great rivalry going on, however, I suppose for non-Merc or NR or LH fans, they’d love to see Merc reeled in and their fave team/driver with a better chance. And maybe viewership is down in spite of what I think is a great season.

    A change to the tires mid-season was obviously necessary when they were delaminating and exploding, but to make THIS change now is something I think will for the vast majority be looked upon as an attempt to reel in Mercedes and not something for the sake of safety, and it makes F1 look incompetent to have taken this long to come to this conclusion. So I question their wisdom if in fact they are concerned with ratings, at making themselves look so mickey-mouse at managing their own entity.

    I’m sure there are more angles to this but for now, and at a bare minimum, I think F1 should have kept this behind closed doors and come to some sort of agreement one way or another before we have now heard it as an if…maybe…possibly…illegal…advantaging some teams…some protesting…mid-season…2015…however, doing this the right way would not nearly make for headlines now would it?

    1. Brent Rockwood
      10th July 2014, 22:59

      Agreed. There have been a number of fantastic races this season, if we are to believe F1Fanatic polls. I get that Mercedes are way in front, but there’s still a close-ish race between NR and LH, and some great battles down the field. I honestly don’t see the need to change anything until next year.

      Full disclosure: I’m a Button fan.

    2. I find it suspicious that this letter to the teams has been put out there for Autosport to publish. So now we the public are left hanging as to what may happen, including the rest of the season being run under protest one way or another. ie. would it not have been better to settle this issue ahead of the public knowing it is even an issue…suddenly…after 6 years?

      It’s probably just a simple way to announce to the public that the racing results of the second half of the season may be totally different from the first half so come on back and root for Ferrari and Red Bull. Controversy and the hopes for a 3 way battle for the WDC gets everyone talking and possibly tuning back in.

  26. FIA at work again!! You can bet that Ferrari have input into this to try and “level” the playing field.
    However I would have thought that Merc could bring their Lawyers in and protest on the grounds of safety. When you spend a year in advance designing a car and its systems to the rules and it has passed inspection umpteen times- how can it be sane or safe to ban any component or setup two weeks before a race!!
    Seasons end for next years regs I can understand but this way is little more than an obvious and very dangerous ploy. Seems F1 is fast becoming “open wheel” Nascar in both organisation and in the cars.

  27. Thanks for the “research” Ben.
    Ive been looking at the points difference between F1 and football. You only get 3 in football when you win, you get 25 in F1.

    1. Name one football game where 22 teams competed simultaneously.

  28. kieran macleod
    9th July 2014, 21:56

    Banning fric at this point could ruin the championship we all know it’s beetween Lewis and Rosberg would u prefer them to be racing at the front goin first and second keeping the gaps in points beetween them small or ban fric and potentially open up massive gaps beetween them making the championship boring thus doing the opposite of what the FIA wanted to when they introduced double points. Plus it’ll cost to much for caterham sauber. Beetween Spain and Monaco marussia could only £2000 worth of updates on there car due to budget could all these teams in financial problems really afford it……….no

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