Lotus develop device to lower front ride height

F1 Fanatic round-up

In the round-up: Lotus are believed to have a new device to aid braking stability.


Top F1 links from the past 24 hours:

Has Lotus Renault found this year?s must-have gizmo? (James Allen)

See a diagram of the device in the original article here.

Skiing and relaxing on the slopes in Campiglio (Ferrari)

Keith Collantine via F1 Fanatic

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Car Livery Designed for Force India 2011 (Behance Network)

Pictures showing how Force India’s livery for 2011 was designed. (Thanks @PJTierney for the tip.)

Overall overhaul – race suit evolution (F1)

“A racing driver?s work clothes of 60 years ago couldn?t have been more basic. They usually consisted of: lightweight cotton trousers and a T-shirt, and thin skinned leather/suede shoes, often with rubber soles – an outfit topped off by a flimsy fabric skullcap.”

Elroy Road to be widened, but not before first F1 race (Austin-American Statesman)

“Travis County and Circuit of the Americas have resumed negotiations over how to split the $5 million to $6 million cost of repairing and expanding about a mile of Elroy Road, a bumpy two-lane county road that leads to one of the [Circuit of the Americas] site’s two entrances.”

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Rob Haswell

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111 comments on Lotus develop device to lower front ride height

  1. Mclaren 1-2 said on 11th January 2012, 11:28

    all sounds a bit fishy to me…i’m surprised this didn’t come out on april 1st

    from what I understand (and correct me if I am wrong) lotus have developed a fluid resovior that hydralically raises or lowers the front ride height – and the evidence for this is some guy has seen a fluid tank which he didn’t know the purpose of.

    well darn…that must have been hard, no wonder other teams didn’t think of this for themselves, oh, wait a minuite…haven’t the other teams been hydralically linking the front and rear suspension ride height for some time now, oh, yes that’s correct…so they have

  2. Rob Haswell said on 11th January 2012, 12:49

    Woop my first CotD. I wish it could have been more insightful.

  3. Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 11th January 2012, 13:02

    Well, Ferrari are already trying to get it banned (whilst working on their own system in private, no doubt). Can anybody here honestly say they are suprised that a) a team has already complained to the FIA about it, and that b) that team is Ferrari?

    • plutoniumhunter (@plutoniumhunter) said on 11th January 2012, 14:38

      It’s been declared legal by the FIA already it seems. http://www.autosport.com/news/report.php/id/96952

      • Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 11th January 2012, 22:48

        Well, they completely blew it:

        AUTOSPORT understands that Lotus has been in liaison with the FIA throughout the development of the brake system, having first been proposed in 2010 and been given an official green light by the governing as long ago as January last year.

        They’ve been working on it for two years, and details of it get leaked two months before the season starts. Worse, whatever advantage they had has now been completely offset:

        AUTOSPORT also understands that at least one front-running team has already submitted plans for a similar ride-height adjustment device to be used in 2012.

        I’m willing to bet that more than one team has been working on the device.

        • BasCB (@bascb) said on 12th January 2012, 6:54

          PM, its all really fine to say how Lotus must be quite unhappy about this getting spotted. But to say

          and details of it get leaked two months before the season starts.

          and basing your argument they botched the whole process on that is folly.
          It implies, that they told the world themselves, or someone from the team did, which you must know is nonsense.

          Blogger ScarbsF1 wrote on twitter, that he had been aware of this solution since januari 2011, but never published about it as he had not proof before Italian tech journalist Piola spotted it in the AbuDhabi test and publised the drawing and its explanation.

          I very much doubt, that other teams have not been following this development as close as possible all the way since it was first related to the FIA in 2010. Renault had no other option though, because putting in (investing) 2 years of work when one does not know if it will be allowed is something not many teams could afford. That is not blowing it, its the reality of F1.

    • nelly (@nelly) said on 11th January 2012, 15:00

      Where in that Autosport article does it say Ferrari are trying to get it banned? All it says is they’re awaiting confirmation of it’s legality which could mean anything. Other teams are probably awaiting confirmation as well. And as the comment says above me, it’s been declared or is going to be declared legal anyway.

      • Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 11th January 2012, 22:41

        How long have you been following Formula 1? “Waiting on the FIA to rule on the legality of a system” means that the system has been challenged by someone. And it’s usually someone who is waiting on a verdict.

        • BasCB (@bascb) said on 12th January 2012, 6:56

          And it’s usually someone who is waiting on a verdict.

          Sure but where does it say Ferrari is the one @prisoner-monkeys!

          OK, you think its Ferrari. But you should not present that as fact, when its only your theory (a theory brought forward by you without any good basis or explanation why its likely to be Ferrari).

          • Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 12th January 2012, 7:14

            a theory brought forward by you without any good basis or explanation why its likely to be Ferrari

            Who has consistently been the first team to protest anything and everything that they haven’t developed since about 1995?


  4. paolo (@paolo) said on 11th January 2012, 13:12

    Here’s one for the conspiracy theorists….Maybe LRGP have already evaluated this piece, decided it doesnt deliver performance and run it in Abu Dhabi to deflect attention away from their real innovations….

  5. McLarenFanJamm (@mclarenfanjamm) said on 11th January 2012, 16:18

    Just seen a rumour on Twitter that the Lotus Ride-Height Regulator was passed legal by the FIA back in 2010! And that Ferrari are already working on their own version (along with a few other teams I suspect).

    Could be another situation where the FIA decide it’s legal only to change the rules for the next season, then banning the device.

  6. Brando said on 11th January 2012, 17:43

    Colin Chapman is probably roling over on his grave due to the lack of secrecy of this new inovative ride height device.

    And if it was RedBull who created it, I’m sure the FIA would of banned it!

    • BBT (@bbt) said on 11th January 2012, 18:01

      Why?, what have they banned the RBR have ‘created’, if you put Mclaren (f-duct) or Brawn (DDD) in place of RBR I could understand you point.

      If you mean blown diffuser that might have been RBR first but Mclaren were also running it at Spa 2010 who knows, same with the OTBD… who was first it is an obvious evolution.

      The more you think about RBR have had less banned (front wing anyone/) than any of the top teams, including Ferrari who may say the FIA favour.

      • Brando said on 11th January 2012, 23:18

        I feel that FIA chases down the front running teams. They don’t want them to retain their competitive advantage because it makes the sport duller to the viewers.

  7. BBT (@bbt) said on 11th January 2012, 18:03

    So I wonder which is the the other team that have already submitted their version to the FIA.

  8. Alex W said on 11th January 2012, 22:29

    I think this device is a testing tool, not for race use.

  9. From Allen’s article:

    It will come down to the judgement of the FIA’s Charlie Whiting. In the past few years he has allowed some new technologies and banned others.

    If an idea is interesting, not excessively expensive to copy and not environmentally offensive then it has a chance. It’s certainly a talking point in the run up to the new season and that’s good for F1.

    This is what annoys me. None of those things should be relevant when assessing whether a device is legal or not. You check the letter of the rules, and if it doesn’t contravene them, it’s allowed.

    • Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 12th January 2012, 7:24

      But the rules aren’t black-and-white. The rewrites and amendments – usually introduced to ban certain technologies and devices – often create small loopholes, and many of the new pieces of equipment fall into them because the teams go looking for them.

  10. Sean Newman said on 13th January 2012, 10:02

    This device is a clear breach of article 10

    “10.1.2 The suspension system must be so arranged that its response results only from changes in load applied to the wheels.”

    The load is applied directly to the brakes and suspension adjustment is proportional to braking torque and not the indirect load applied to the wheels.

    “10.2.3 No adjustment may be made to the suspension system while the car is in motion.”

    No way around this one! Any adjustment be it automatic, semi-automatic, driver or magic wand controlled is ILLEGAL.

    If it’s declared legal I’ll give up watching F1 for good.

    • Kirk (@kirk) said on 19th January 2012, 12:57

      I don’t see which part of that regulation this device would violate. The response does indeed result only from changes in load, and there are no adjustments made whilst the car is in motion. Both regulations are satisfied.

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