Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, Silverstone test, 2014

FRIC ban would hit Mercedes hardest – Chilton

F1 Fanatic Round-up

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Lewis Hamilton, McLaren, Silverstone test, 2014In the round-up: Max Chilton expected a ban on Front Rear Inter-Connected suspension systems would be particularly bad for Mercedes.


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Max: FRIC ban will hurt Merc (Sky)

“I hear the Mercedes system is very complicated so it could affect them more.”

FIA keen to clampdown on FRIC (ESPN)

Eric Boullier: “I think most of the teams, if not all the teams on the grid, are using this kind of suspension system, which connects the vehicle dynamics better. Some teams may have been extreme [with their design], this is maybe why the FIA is questioning the legality of the system.”

Shareholder says Ecclestone drove hard bargain over F1 sale (Reuters)

“‘At no point did he ever say that he expected that he would remain chief executive,’ [CVC chairman Donald] Mackenzie told the court, his words translated into German by an interpreter.”

Test reduction bad for F1 – de la Rosa (Autosport)

“I feel if a tennis player cannot train every day and then suddenly you are thrown into the final of Wimbledon against [Novak] Djokovic, how would you feel?”

Wheels roll at Silverstone on future of F1 tires (CNN)

Pirelli motorsport director Paul Hembery: “From what I’ve seen and heard people seem to quite like the [18-inch wheels] idea. Most people said it looked quite modern – it didn’t look strange.”

Jules Bianchi Q&A: It is always good to drive a Ferrari! (F1)

“Q: You had a good benchmark after driving here over the weekend and yesterday with Marussia – how do the cars compare?
JB: It [the Ferrari] obviously has more downforce here, this we know already. So it is better in the high-speed corners. We cannot really compare because it’s a bit of a different day, the wind was a bit different today, we didn’t really use the same tyres, the same fuel loads, so it is difficult to compare. But what I could feel is that the downforce was higher.”

Rosberg tells Hamilton: ‘I’m 100 per cent German’ (The Telegraph)

“When asked whether he was a German as Hamilton was British, Rosberg candidly replied: ‘Not really because I didn’t grow up in Germany, but I consider myself 100 per cent German.'”

Sebastian Vettel and Fernando Alonso Alonso-Vettel duel F1 at its best – McNish (BBC)

“The stewards decided to be lenient, and I think that was the right call because it allowed the racing to continue.”


Comment of the day

Pirelli’s plan for lower profile tyres has provoked a lot of interested discussion – but it would come at a cost.

The sidewall of the tire acts as a part of the suspension when it flexes and I’m sure that is taken into consideration when the cars are designed. So I don’t think changing to the larger wheel and low profile tyre is as simple as bolting them on, as it will probably require major suspension changes.

So how does this fit into the cost cutting measures?

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1994 F1 seasonDamon Hill scored a popular home win at Silverstone 20 years ago today while Michael Schumacher landed himself in trouble by overtaking his Williams rival on the formation lap.

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  • 85 comments on “FRIC ban would hit Mercedes hardest – Chilton”

    1. Banning the FRIC system at any point would be entirely stupid. Banning the FRIC system during the season? Absolutely mental.

      Assuming that it will be banned though, I wonder how much of Mercedes’s advantage will be lost due to this, or whether, in-fact, they lose any advantage at all.

      1. It’s in the teams hands whether the FRIC system is banned post-Silverstone or post-2014. Boullier said it came as a shock to McLaren when the FIA were rallying for it to be banned so I imagine most, if not all teams are not ready to race without them at the moment and will defer the ban till end of season.

        If it’s banned for Germany then for the sake of making the FIA shoot themselves in the foot once AGAIN, I honestly hope Mercedes go on to comfortably stick both cars on the front row in qualifying, much like Red Bull did in 2010 after some teams believed that they were allegedly running a ride-height system and then the FIA outlawed such a thing. The bottom line is Mercedes and Red Bull in their separate cases worked hard to gain their performance advantages and deserved to enjoy season-long success with the innovations they’ve pioneered.

        1. But the problem is that, to defer the rule to the next season, all teams have to unanimously agree. If they don’t, the rule change will happen for the German Grand Prix.

          1. @Ronney I bet mercedes were testing non FRIC system yesterday! i also think that the move of Charlie was smart and suggests that it actually will be banned from Germany, he sent out the message just one day before the testing( although i think that teams were aware before that

          2. @Rooney – there is no rule change. Charlie Whiting has written to the teams to explain that having looked at the FRIC systems, and having looked at the regulations, then any car running a FRIC system could be protested as being illegal under the rules as they currently stand.

            What they’re saying is that in order for these systems not to be subject to protest, there needs to be unanimous support from the teams to change the rules as they stand at the moment, so that these systems are not covered by the rule governing movable aerodynamics.

            Nobody is actually banning anything.

      2. It’s typical F1, when a team is beating the field in superb fashion FIA must find a thing to ban.

      3. Since its Red Bull also having a very advanced system, it might not be too bad for Mercedes, as they still are ahead by a solid margin and their closest rival will likely lose almost as much @philreid.

      4. WilliamB (@william-brierty)
        10th July 2014, 9:12

        @philereid – The W04 had the FRIC system, and it certainly didn’t stop Vettel winning thirteen races, in fact Red Bull is rumoured to have developed their own system: two things that suggest that even without FRIC it’ll still be the W05 by a mile come Sunday at Hockenheim.

      5. According to Scarbs, it wont affect Merc’s dominance, and argues it wont even effect the generally running order.

        Still rediculous to ban it mid-season though.

      6. If Mercedes lose their lead, the most likely team to challenge them would be Red Bull. And here I was thinking that the order was freshening up. And now the comment of Vettel winning the final race on double points, and the championship doesn’t seem quite so funny.

        1. Graham (@guitargraham)
          10th July 2014, 19:20

          i wouldnt worry about the RedBulls. they will be getting grid penalties from about Singapore onwards as they run out of allotted power unit components

      7. It just reminds me of the Mass Damper which Renault and other teams used, until it was suddenly banned at the German Grand Prix in 2006.

        IMO I do not see why a FRIC system could be illegal.

    2. Cecotto’s funding is secure?

      Bad news for other drivers.

      Venezuela really knows how to pick em.

      1. @hairs You’re being a touch harsh. Cecotto changed his ways over the winter and not only is he quick, but he isn’t hitting things.

      2. I never thought I’d say this, and a year ago I would have said “good riddance”, but I’m glad he can continue the season. It isn’t right that a championship contender has to sit out races – it devalues the championship and the series.

        1. I find it depressing that so many people, with so many sports, are prepared to overlook hideous behaviour, cheating, and vicious, thoughtless dangerous behaviour on the basis that the person doing it is “a potential winner”.

          That way lies Lance Armstrong.

      3. “So Mr… Cecotto. We have very sucessfully other drivers, such as Maldonado.”
        “Yes, I’m aware”.
        “First question, are you willing to ram people of the track?”
        “I have been practicing my whole life!”

    3. New tyres as a cost cutting measure is probably on the same level as redesigning your suspension system to compensate for a mid-season regulation change!

      FRIC has been fine for years now. If they want to get rid of it they could ban it at the same time as the tyre size change you’re only massively altering suspension once. I suppose that would save a little bit of money by having one change rather than two…

      1. FRIC has been fine for years now. If they want to get rid of it they could ban it at the same time as the tyre size change, so that you’re only massively altering the suspension once. I suppose that would save a little bit of money by having one change rather than two…

        1. I think what you are saying makes perfect sense. I also think all this FRIC talk might just be headline grabbing meant to stir controversy and debate. I also think one never knows what F1 is capable of that mostly makes no sense to us but somehow is ‘the direction’ they want to go anyway.

          I think the timing of this is suspicious, and even though I suspect a ban will be put off for this year there are now a percentage of people that will claim the Mercs are so far ahead only because they are illegal. I don’t see how any of this, including letting an entity make this info public when they could have settled this behind closed doors for now, helps F1 and their cause for better viewership. It only makes F1 look inconsistent and disorganized.

          1. @robbie

            Do you think it will be put off for this year? Personally, I don’t see that happening. In order for it to continue being used, there needs to be unanimous support from all of the teams to ratify a technical directive which would exclude the systems from being considered a movable aerodynamic device. Now consider for a moment the current shambles of a governance system in place in F1 – with the teams at the back end of the grid being at the mercy of the ones at the front who form an elite group who are able to make decisions about the sport. Decisions like, say, binning a whole bunch of proposed cost control measures. Now put yourself into the shoes of someone like Monisha Kaltenborn. Your team is struggling financially, very badly, and the teams above you who have collectively decided to overule any decisions which might help you out, are suddenly asking you to support a technical change which benefits them more than it does you. Would you happily support the teams who had hamstrung your ability to compete on a fair footing, or would you stick the knife in and demand that their expensive suspension systems are thrown in the bin?

            I have no doubt which I would choose, and all it takes is for one team on the grid to feel that way, and everyone’s going back to the drawing board pretty quickly…

            1. @mazdachris Your argument makes absolute sense. An argument to counter that has been thrown out there that some lesser teams who have PUs supplied by ‘the majors’ won’t want to tic them off by going against them. But it only takes one team…yet with other issues the lesser teams have had no say, as you have pointed out citing cost-cutting measures that have not gone far enough in the lesser teams’ opinion.

              I really don’t know because like you have said below I too cannot wrap my head around this situation and it’s timing. I have only leaned for now toward the can being kicked down the road because it seems too out of the blue, and too ‘headline grabbing’ when none of us saw this coming and we now know about it before the teams have voted on this issue (not that that is unprecedented).

              So hard to say but I do think that if they ban it now there will be a percentage of folks that will now be pointing the finger at the ‘illegal Mercedes’ as that being the reason for their domination and it won’t matter that others are doing it too. For now I lean toward the best decision for F1, with ratings and viewership in mind, being to leave it for now and not make themselves look incompetent at policing their own entity, and all the teams may or may not take that into consideration and it may be that you will be dead right with your argument above. If they do ban FRIC ahead of Germany, I hope for F1’s sake the general running order does not change as Merc will then look to have been really illegal, F1 will have looked to be incompetent and tampering with the season to haul them back, and for those who care about the speeds of F1 cars they should, I would think, be lapping even slower from here on in and I see a lot of folks’ fave drivers struggling for handling and pace even moreso than they have been.

            2. @robbie Yes I’ve seen the argument about customer teams not wanting to PO their suppliers. But I don’t really buy this, frankly. They’re customers, yes, but they pay their money for the product. Some have technical partnerships and may not want to jeapardise that going forwards, but I don’t see that being the case for every team on the grid. Like you say, it only takes one dissenter. What do Sauber get from Ferrari? A sub standard engine and not a lot else, and their position as a customer has never stopped them from voicing opinions on the inequitable state of the sport, when it comes to other matters. Plus of course we don’t know whether any such vote would be made public. It would make sense to have a private vote so that teams can express their own opinions rather than toe the line for their suppliers. But given that this is the FIA we’re talking about, maybe common sense ideas can’t really be presumed…

            3. and their position as a customer has never stopped them from voicing opinions on the inequitable state of the sport

              Voicing opinions – most certainly. Standing by them when it mattered: less so.
              Remember Sauber was completely with Ferrari in breaking up FOTA (as was STR with RBR).

      2. The proposal to change to 18 inch wheels with low profile tyres has nothing to do with cost cutting.
        Hembery says in the CNN interview that Pirelli would be aiming to introduce them in 2016 once all of the R&D and testing had been completed (if they were approved by FIA/FOM/teams) so I doubt they’d be able to get them ready in time if the FRIC ban does happen.
        Most importantly though is the fact that your suggestion is too logical, makes far too much sense and would be too popular with the fans for it to ever be put in place by those running F1.

      3. suspension is only a small part of the equation to get 18 inch rims introduced. Aerodynamics is the bigger and more expensive portion.

    4. Nico Rosberg: “I was there when he said it” – see! Just a bit of banter between friends, no need for headlines.

      FIA : “After watching Transformers round Bernie’s last night, we’ve unanimously decided that movable aerodynamics parts are allowed for the next race”

      1. If the FIA ever saw any of the Michael Bay Transformers movies, I’m pretty sure fireworks would be attached to all cars and they would display some over the top pyrotechnics whenever a crash happened.

        1. Alexander (@)
          10th July 2014, 7:45

          If they want more exciting racing FIA should have Michael Bay Design the rules!

    5. I’m getting really tired of the Hamilton/Rosberg saga. Some websites actually report the things that were said, while most just make conclusions, use the quotes that fit their headline, while neglecting Rosberg’s statement that he was there when Hamilton was asked about winning the German GP and it didn’t go down quite like some reports made it out.

      I guess the most depressing thing about things like these is the realization that, if news media does this to F1 driver quotes, who else are they doing this to?

      The joys of being a cynic..

      1. @npf1, and then there is the total technical incompetence of ESPNs reporters just to further reduce any faith one has in what one reads.

      2. it’s just click bait, like any sensationalist headline. when you read the article, all of rosberg’s quotes are very reasoned and respectful. people are desperate to create a story that isn’t there (at least on rosberg’s side).

      3. Sky needs to distance itself from these cheap, sensationalist and misleading headlines. That is the only depressing bit about the “Hamilton said Rosberg is not a real German” headline. It took a bit of the Silverstone win joy away from me, and I am a Hamilton fan. The comments about Hamilton under this headline made think how can I blame people from getting annoyed only then to realise we didn’t know the full story. It’s so cheap and low it begs belief.

        How can I a well respected broadcast channel who prides itself and pays real buck to get well known and respected former drivers do this? It seriously baffles me. Do Martin Brundell, Anthony Davidson or Damon Hill agree with these sort of headlines and stories? Surely not.

        I guess the objective was to get a few extra clicks on their sky F1 website and I have, annoyingly, fell for that.

        1. Bang on the money u r

    6. Omar R (@omarr-pepper)
      10th July 2014, 0:58

      It’s not the first time FIA bans something mid season, and maybe the main reason is to try to level up the field. It’s not profitable for them to see TV ratings dropping more and more “because Mercedes are so dominant”. FIA should ask themselves if the solution is that, or maybe the problem is something they don’t want to admit (DRS, Abu Double, next year banning of tests, etc).

      1. Whether they admit it or not, DRS, double points, and a ban on testing are all in place and so will remain a part of the problem, and now they look inconsistent and incompetent at now of all times discovering after 6 years alleged illegalities in the FRIC system. Even if they decide to put off the ban they now look disorganized and have only added to the general sentiment of over regulation, inconsistency, and confusion for the fans many of whom will now think Merc is only this dominant because they are illegal. They should at a minimum have waited for the teams’ decision before making any of this available for public consumption.

        1. @robbie In fairness, the FIA haven’t made it available for public consumption. Charlie Whiting wrote to the teams about the situation, and someone in one (or more) of the teams has leaked it to the press, as they always do.

          1. @mazdachris Yeah fair comment, and is likely what happened, but couldn’t things like confidentiality agreements etc with heavy fines for breaching them handle this? However I think it more likely F1 wants the headlines and the controversy and is fine with this issue being leaked and being front and center.

    7. “I feel if a tennis player cannot train every day and then suddenly you are thrown into the final of Wimbledon against [Novak] Djokovic, how would you feel?”

      As Djokovic wouldn’t be allowed to train either, I wouldn’t feel any worse. If he’d used that metaphor to say that the overall quality of tennis would be lower, he might have actually stumbled towards some kind of logical (if not valid) point.

      1. @matt90 I thought he meant that in case he would have to substitute for one of the drivers.

        1. Ah, my misunderstanding.

        2. If it’s that hard on driver substitutions, we’re more likely to see ‘poaching’ from other teams: e.g. as was rumoured with Hulkenberg for Raikkonen at the end of last season. I see Bianchi has already dropped some hints about driving for Ferrari in Hockenheim.

      2. Indeed, in this case, Djokovic would not have training, but would still be playing the slams and main tour events through each round, while De La Rosa would only have that match to get up to full speed.

        1. Well, the rounds at the 4 slams, number the amount of GPs and tests.. then 5 sets would be all the sessions..

          1. So walking into a Final with a Golden Slam winner (Alonso) makes a lot of sense in this analogy.

        2. YEah, but if Pedro had had to get through qualification matches to end up at Wimbledon in the first place, he would actually have had MORE rithm.

          Not to mention that prior to Wimbledon neither of them are allowed to “have a go on the first court” to test, like they do on F1 tracks.

          And the analogy goes completely amiss when you consider that the testing would be say Ferrer developing boots and a racket that Pedro then could use to play against Djokovic (because what gets developed is the equipment / cars not as much the player/driver skills during testing, else, why would Pedro be driving instead of Alonso)

        3. That is not true @fastiesty. Because surely Pedro would have had to first qualify for the main tournament, he would actually have played quite a few matches at Wimbledon before ever going up against Djokovic.

          Off course the comparison goes completely amiss, because testing in F1 is not as much about the driver training and developing his skills (they do that on the Simulator nowadays, which compares to training in Tennis pretty well), but about further developing the equipment they use (otherwise it wouldn’t be Pedro driving but Alonso). So then, testing in F1 would be as if say Stepanek put in endless days to optimize boots and a racket Berdych might then use if he is up to Djokovic.

          1. @bascb In this case, as a ‘sub’, he would effectively have been replacing whoever made it to the final. Perhaps Davis Cup is more appropriate in that aspect, but in F1 the team/driver always compete in the same race and not in a separate event.

            Testing is indeed about the peripherals in this context.. with a test driver. The driver/player specifics being limited to simulation or simple testing of the new equipment, but without a match environment.. perhaps no play on a court allowed. Only a virtual court.. get the Wii remote!

            1. I.e. You refine your tennis skills as a junior, playing the minor tour events, with some coaching time allowed, depending on how rich you are.. but once at Slam level, you are stuck with it. Also, you are banned from playing other things, much to Kimi’s dismay.. although perhaps lawnmowers are allowed :)

      3. Would the final be played with double points? If so, I’d be very unhappy about that.

        1. Performing badly and ending your career is a kind of ‘double or quits’.. just ask Badoer, Fisichella or Kovalainen.

          PS. Wolff getting a practice session is like a British wild card at Wimbledon..

      4. Would the final be played with double points?

    8. I like the idea of @keithcollantine in his tweet. It would be interesting to see some teams running the 18″ tyres and others running the 13″ tyres at the same time, and maybe even switching between the two depending on which suits each team’s chassis better at each particular circuit.

      1. Omar R (@omarr-pepper)
        10th July 2014, 2:02

        Lotus is not the most reliable source of data now, are they?

        1. Yeah, but Gold rims looked particularly good with the black and gold paint. And it was a test of how it looked more than anything else….

      2. But how could Pirelli reasonably try to equalise tyre performance? Either there should be true tyre competition (between multiple companies) or none at all I feel. Having one company producing a range of tyres which only compete with themselves sounds difficult to properly manage.

      3. Basically that would mean designing two cars. One for the 13 inch rims and one of the 18 inch rims. Then use the one that is faster.

      4. While the idea itself is good, the tyre companies would not allow that. They are trying to sell the low profile tyres, so they won’t allow a “competition” between normal and low profile tyres.
        I am not convinced that low profile have a better performance, but it seems those are more profitable for the companies.

    9. It appears the Media just want to keep pushing the Rosberg/ Hamilton rivalry to the Nth degree. I’m sure the 2 of them are having a laugh at the media’s expense. It’s just getting silly now.

    10. I am extremely glad that there was no intervention by Charlie Whiting or the Stewards in the magnificent Vettel/Alonso tussle during the British GP. I was very fearful that a penalty for being too defensive or the breaking of another the myriad of rules governing (limiting) driver engagements would be handed out and that would have been a travesty. That battle was entirely the sort of thing I watch F1 for and since I have rejoined the scene in the past couple of seasons the over nannying of such encounters has been disappointing to say the least. Don’t get me wrong, i absolutely see the need for stewards (and some of the Driver Stewards are epic guys) but IMO there is too much intervention and criticism of overtakes and/or when two cars come together.

      One has to wonder whether the sudden ban on FRIC is a desperate measure to nullify Mercedes clear performance advantage.

      1. One actually has to wonder if there could actually be some other valid reason !

        1. Surely not! What….. like waiting until All of the teams have submitted their FRIC designs and making a judgement after evaluating All systems and telling the teams your intentions once the decision has been made, be that mid season or at the end of season (whilst giving the teams an option to delay the potential change until the end of the season)!

          Oh, maybe it doesn’t sound like a desperate measure after all, but a thought through process that all teams knew about, but the timing of which is fodder to the conspiracy theorists.

      2. I’m really glad they just let them race. Sure, there’d be the odd bit of cutting here and there, but no one driver gained clear advantages. It was a great bit of racing, and I thought it was funny that Vettel and Alonso were basically accusing each other of doing the same things to each other. I knew Alonso would get passed eventually, but the fact that he held Vettel back for so long with strategic driving was incredible. A couple of the defensive moves on Vettel were cutting it close, but it all seemed fair to me.

    11. Let’s chop down those tall poppies, and level the field, we have to give people who can’t build a good car within the regulations a chance to win by banning the parts the top teams have developed that give them an advantage, next we should equalise the PUs to Renault standards. With all the money saved and the consequent more equal distribution of prize money (this is a much better way to give the small teams some money than taking more from Delta Topco for the teams to misspend, says Bernie) we can change the wheel/tyres and suspension for 2015 along with the introduction of twin turbos to improve the sound thereby doubling the TV viewing numbers.

      1. @hohum While i agree with the sentiment (don’t level the playing field for the sake of the ‘show’), there might be something on the FRIC systems that hasn’t been publicised yet. The FIA are saying the ban would be under the ‘no moveable aerodynamic devices’ regulation. Perhaps one team (probably Mercedes) has a system where the suspension parts themselves provide some aerodynamic benefit – maybe something a bit like McLaren’s fat suspension struts which were supposed to redirect airflow and increase downforce.

        If it’s an across the board ban of all FRIC systems then my theory is out and it would seem like just a token ‘improve the show’ regulation (unless they are all illegal, in which case a) why bother? and b) why did it take so long to decide they were illegal?)

      2. Wow, that is ingenius! :D

        What if a new different team dominates each time one of these changes are made.
        Then I gues F1 will be in a constant state of flux.

        1. Wouldn’t be that bad to see Williams, Force India, Sauber, Toro Rosso, Marussia etc. take a victory would it?

      3. I just noticed that if you add 1 second to the top 4 qualifiers at the Silverstone 1994 recap, it makes it a much closer field.. generally from 5th back (Alonso backwards now!) it’s always very competitive, from the top of the midfield.. with Simtek being today’s Caterham..

    12. I think the main question for the upcoming FRIC ban (and I suspect it will happen) is how badly it will affect Mercedes. So far, the signs are that I have seen no quotes from Mercedes, Hamilton or Rosberg (was the impending FRIC ban already known when Rosberg tested?) – apart from the discussion on Rosberg’s nationality – and yesterday we have seen Hamilton spin off and end the day with a slow time. I would say these signs are worrying.

      Also, I would personally like to know (but will likely never find out) exactly how this FRIC ban came about. Is it simply part of the FIA’s program to ban everything that seems to give a performance benefit (after all, the cars are massively fast this year…), or did some team (Helmut Marko?) whisper “article 3.15” into Charlie Whiting’s ear?

    13. People really need to understand that it is not a requirement to sacrifice the weakest performers at “The Altar of the Spirit of Competition”.

      It’s an unfortunate fact of how this morally corrupt, increasingly egoistic, kill-or-be-killed-world of ours works that the weak performers are killed off for the sake of habit.

      Either nobody cares or nobody wants to care….but… Caterham, Marussia and other smaller teams are needed, otherwise we’d end up with nothing but a ferrari vs.McLaren field where each has 10 cars on the grid and absolutely zero real racing, because:
      1. The winner was decided in last night’s marketing strategy meeting
      2. Having a real accident would potentially put them vulnerable to a lawsuit
      3. Having a real accident would potentially show the team and sponsors in a bad light
      3. Drivers will be instructed to drive wheel-to-wheel so that the cameras show thes ponsors

      F1 needs a budget cap and regulations that limits the cars like road cars are limited.
      Give every single team a cut of the TV money… not just the top performers. And seriously do away with special veto rights and increased cut of the TV money that a certain self-important, stereotypically narcissistic italian team enjoys and mandate that every car must abide by the European Emission Standards and let the teams figure the details out on their own.

      …just look at NFL in the country where it’s people are legal property of corporations. Study how they pulled the entire league back from the edge of complete collapse and give F1 a proper revival.

    14. The ‘is he German or not’ story is the lamest story I never bothered to follow.

    15. Well I’m glad Chilton knows all about a car faster than his. Quite the expert!

      Honestly, the FIA simply shouldn’t be allowed to ban things mid-season (other than on safety grounds). It gives such an unfair disadvantage into teams that spent more money and time developing these.

      And de la Rosa is correct about the test reduction. Maybe he didn’t use the best example, but his point could not be truer.

      And the Bianchi Q&A is funny. He has to compare 2 teams cars while being honest, not saying anything against one team or car.

      As for Rosberg’s nationality – his choice, but I too think that this is just the media doing it all again. It wouldn’t happen if they were all Kimis.

    16. No.44 is in a league of his own!

      Nice pic there Keith.

    17. I really can’t get my head around this situation with FRIC. Bear in mind that while the word ‘ban’ is being thrown about, it’s not actually being banned as such – simply that the FIA have decided that it is already illegal under the current regulations. That’s why they’re saying that all of the teams would need to agree for it to remain in place. Because they would need to issue an amendment to the technical regs in order for the system to continue to be used.

      But this is really unusual and not in line with what’s happened before. Previously when an innovation is outlawed, then they issue the technical directive first which clears up whichever area of ambiguity was allowing it to be used. Here they’re saying there is no ambiguity, despite the fact that the technical delegate has passed all of the cars with this system as clear to race all through the season so far, and for several seasons past. When it comes to legal interpretation, in the real world it’s set by precedent; once the law has been interpreted a certain way, then that becomes the standard interpretation until the law in changed. So it usually is with the technical regulations, so once the car has been passed through scrutineering with the system in place, then it should do so over and over again unless either the system changes or the technical regulation changes. And if the system changes, then it would only be something in the nature of how the system has changed that would make it illegal and theoretically reverting to the previous version should be ok. That’s how it SHOULD work, but apparently that’s not how it works for the FIA. Apparently they can decide that a system which was passed as legal under the rules a week ago, is no longer legal despite neither the rules nor the system changing.

      I really struggle to see how that could be considered fair.

    18. That’s an epic picture you put on this article Keith!

      1. Yeah…looks like a couple of Merc guys putting trash in the flux capacitor so that come Germany they won’t even need the potentially banned FRIC system…they’ll just hover a mm over the track and we’ll all be in awe at their newfound ability to conserve tires and make them look like they’re not even spinning.

    19. Mercedes AMG F1 is not really a German team.

    20. This is pathetic!! All theses systems should be checked and passed before the first race in Melbourne!!
      I’m assuming this is the case anyway and this is just another plot by Whiting and his cronies to artificially alter the championship!!
      The sport is a joke and I hope teams threaten to quit the sport!!

    21. I hope Mercedes lawyers are looking at this closely. Quite obviously it can be termed very unsafe to ban a functioning part of any suspension system, mid way through the season. I agree if it is banned – it should be banned for 2015 & the 18inch rims allowed at the same time. Note the Pirelli comment ALL people like the “look” of them but no comment on performance, however the present Lotus is hardly a benchmark!

      1. Plus they make the car itself an extra few centimetres higher, which no doubt has a massive effect.

      2. You can’t judge the performance of 18″ rims on a car designed for 13″; the suspension is all wrong.

    22. COTD

      I made the same comment about 3 days ago

    23. I can’t agree tha ban of FRIC. This is a very stupid idea.

    24. Some days I wonder why I still claim to follow F1 when it’s clearly said it’s not trying to cater to me anymore over and over again in recent years…

      I dunno, remember the last time rules were for things like safety and to ensure drivers weren’t secondary in importance to their cars? When was that for safety, removing refueling?When was that in the interest of ensuring driver skill was the prime factor in race outcome, removing electronic driver aids?

      I know I can’t have everything, but wasn’t it once upon a time when Formula One cars were the fastest, smartest, most glamorous racing cars on the planet? What happened between then and now?

      Was it the money? Was it the technology? Was it the ideal of fairness? The retirement of most of the last remnants of the eras of Senna and Schumacher? Is it because the world is changing and the FIA doesn’t want to change?

      …I love this sport and it shouldn’t be doing this to me. If it wants me to ask questions and mull over change, it shouldn’t be about why I shouldn’t just watch something else.

    25. It would be better if FIA was banned from banning stuff all the time.

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