FIA “aiming to ban” reactive ride height adjustment

F1 Fanatic round-up

In the round-up: Williams’ Mark Gillan says the FIA has issued a technical directive aimed at banning reactive ride height systems of the kind developed by Lotus.

Links

Top F1 links from the past 24 hours:

The Flying Lap With Peter Windsor (Speed)

Williams chief operating officer Mark Gillan on reactive ride height systems: “The FIA have just banned that particular type of system. [...] From a cursory look it looks as though they are aiming to ban that type of system.”

F1 Fanatic via Twitter

Lotus’s new F1 site says their car will be launched on February 5th. Added to the F1 Fanatic calendar.”

F1 2012: Rules, Designs and Trends (ScarbsF1)

“With so much of the car fixed within the regulation, it?s becoming the sidepods that are the main area of freedom for the designers. Last year we saw four main sidepod concepts; conventional, Red Bull low\tapered, McLaren U-shape and Toro Rosso?s undercut.”

Technical analysis – 2012 exhaust restrictions (F1)

“For 2012 the FIA has effectively banned blown diffusers by placing new restrictions on the positioning of exhaust exits.”

Reactive Ride Height and J Dampers Explained (Will Buxton)

“J-damper: one bouncy thing offsets another bouncy thing.”

Everything to prove (Sky)

Mike Gascoyne: “It will be a much more current car than the last two cars we’ve been able to design. It’s probably a bigger step forward compared to the 2011 car. In 2010 our car was obviously very basic because we didn’t have much time to do it and we always said the 2011 car would be a big step forward. What’s exciting for me is that the 2012 car is probably a bigger step forward in terms of refinement of design than we made in 2011.”

HRT insist they will race despite ‘critical delays’ (BBC)

“Rumours that we will take part in the initial Grands Prix with the 2011 car are not true. The target is to be at the second test with the new car.”

Marussia targets second test for new car (Autosport)

Pat Symonds: “We are aiming for the second. We are going to be at the first test anyway because I think it’s important for Charles [Pic] to get some miles under his belt and it shakes some of the cobwebs off of the team.”

Hamilton to be called to court as star witness in GBH trial of German driver Sutil (Daily Mail)

[Lewis] Hamilton will have to head directly from the trial to attend the launch of the 2012 McLaren car on February 1.”

Interview with PURE’s Craig Pollock

“There has been the news of Peugeot pulling out (of endurance racing) ?ǣ and we were fairly inside that this might happen. They are around the Paris area with facilities, offices and test benches; not of the quality necessary for a Formula 1 engine, but it wouldn?t take too much to convert it into a Formula 1 test bench. It would potentially be the cheapest way going forward.”

Piecing It All Together: From the White Board to the Dirt Mound (The Austin Grand Prix)

“This is a panoramic photo taken from atop turn one, the most south-eastern point of the circuit, facing west.”

Giedo van der Garde via Twitter

“Guys, everybody asking me about F1 but at the moment I can’t say anything! Please be patient. But thank you very big about the positive messages! It means a lot. Keep following!”

Follow F1 news as it breaks using the F1 Fanatic live Twitter app.

Comment of the day

Yesterday’s discussion about which teams will still be in F1 in ten years’ time naturally led to a debate on how to encourage new teams to come into the sport. Here’s Junpei’s thoughts.

I?d rather see a “Tier 2″ F1 championship, with same rules as F1. The winner of this replaces the last place runner of the current F1 grid every year, much like in certain football leagues.

This would let teams come in with a lower budget, and learn everything while competing with teams of similar experience/budget. My problem with GP2 is that it?s just too different from F1, and too much like other lower formulas, so all that technical competition is almost non-existent.
Junpei

From the forum

Happy birthday!

No F1 Fanatic birthdays today. If you want a birthday shout-out tell us when yours is by emailling me, using Twitter or adding to the list here.

On this day in F1

When testing is so tightly restricted today, it’s almost surprising to recall that just a few years ago teams would often test at multiple venues at once.

Ten years ago today McLaren and Sauber were testing in Barcelona and Ferrari had the Valencia circuit to themselves.

Advert | Go Ad-free

106 comments on FIA “aiming to ban” reactive ride height adjustment

1 2 3
  1. Fer no.65 (@fer-no65) said on 21st January 2012, 0:06

    I don’t like the way the FIA said the system was OK, and now, within days of the Lotus car presentation, there are rumours about a ban of the system.

    However, at least they might ban it before the first race of the season, unlike the double-diffuser, which was discussed weeks after Brawn scored a 1-2 in Melbourne, and was eventually approved.

    • egsgeg said on 21st January 2012, 11:58

      It smells like political interference. Reno and Ferrari both had it and so I doubt any of them complained.

      I’m guessing it was the sneaky RBR or McLaren team who made a fuss.

      Its a pitty because there is no way for Reno and Ferrari to get the time spent on the system back.

      • “Reno”? Is that Jean Reno, the French actor, from such films as Leon, Nikita and Ronin?

        Or perhaps you mean Reno, in Nevada?

    • Klaas (@klaas) said on 21st January 2012, 12:07

      I bet that FIA will un-bann it before the first car launch. It will be the same situation as with the banned EBDs back in July.

      • tEQUILLA sLAMMER said on 21st January 2012, 20:04

        ault in French is pronounced “O”…….as in Renault……..follow this arrow ——————————> 3 >–

    • UKFan (@) said on 21st January 2012, 23:20

      Rumours… I believe that this means that the system is now completely out of the shelf.

  2. electrolite (@electrolite) said on 21st January 2012, 0:13

    That’s a shame. As soon as anything innovative or interesting comes along that acts within the rules, the FIA seem to to immediately find some way of banning it. It’s almost hypocritical. It’s as if to say ‘Ah yes Lotus, thanks for pointing that out to us. We’ll alter the rulebook accordingly right away…’.

    It doesn’t encourage innovation, or allow these world class engineers to do what they do best, does it? Changing the rules after teams have designed the very foundations of their cars around such a device just seems really stern and rigorous. I’m not saying Lotus have done that, by any means, but hypothetically speaking…

  3. Robin said on 21st January 2012, 0:14

    Are they going to ban every innovation just because not everybody has it? This is F1, everybody has to catch up. F-Duct? Could be seen as unsafe. Double diffuser? Burning fuel just for aero, yeah the environment angle I get it. This is just another thing that will everybody will have to integrate, and the people who can use it best will benefit, just like getting the aero right on a car or fuel consumption or power from an engine.

  4. Icthyes (@icthyes) said on 21st January 2012, 0:23

    Having a second tier F1 with promotion and relegation would cause big problems with small teams getting sponsorship. Why sponsor a team that could fall into a lesser tier and obscurity?

    A better idea I think would be regional (i.e. Continental) F1. It wouldn’t be important enough for the spending to get out of control and any space in F1 could be filled by a team from one of these series, like for instance how Tyrrell moved up from F3 and F2.

    • BasCB (@bascb) said on 21st January 2012, 22:14

      I agree with that notion @icthyes, a regional lower tier competition with close to F1 cars would be better. It would take away a big part of the cost of the travelling circus and if maintained with more rule stability then F1, and maybe a llimit on the amount of development during the season or between years, it might be possible to compete in such a championship for somewhere around 12-15 million EUR.

    • Spaulding (@spaulding) said on 23rd January 2012, 14:21

      The only chance it will ever work is to bring back customer cars and even more stabilization of the rules. Otherwise, the lower tier would only show how pathetically slow poorly optimized and poorly funded race cars can be.

  5. I’m getting a little bit tired of this clamping down on innovative ideas. It’s already been said in the comments above me but what’s the point in engineers using their skills only for to have their inventions ruled out.

    And actually, maybe I’m wrong on this, but I think I read somewhere, only a few days back, that the FIA said this new reactive system was legal? What has changed?

    Yet more inconsistency from the FIA. And the season hasn’t even started yet!! Hmm…

    • Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 21st January 2012, 1:22

      It’s already been said in the comments above me but what’s the point in engineers using their skills only for to have their inventions ruled out.

      I think it’s very telling as to what gets developed and what gets banned. A lot of manufacturers talk about how they want Formula 1 to be relevant to their road cars, but how exactly are off-throttle blown diffusers, tuned mass dampers and reactive ride heigh stablisers at all relevant to road cars? On the other hand, you’ve got Williams developing a flywheel-based KERS system that is said to be more efficient than anything that is currently used – and that hasn’t been banned. If the FIA is clamping down on reactive ride-heights, they probably feel that it is the wrong direction for the sport to be going in. And as a fan, I kind of agree with this – I’m all for innovation, but I don’t want to see the kind of innovation that I need a degree in engineering to understand.

      I also think that the FIA might be trying to avoid another arms race. Lotus have been working on this idea since 2010, so it’s taken two years for them to develop it enough that they can debut it. Ferrari already have their own version of it and will run it in the final test, and Mercedes has submitted plans to the FIA for approval. They may forsee a situation where teams get into a spending war – again – which they would be eager to prevent.

      I think I read somewhere, only a few days back, that the FIA said this new reactive system was legal? What has changed?

      They did say it was legal, but I think one of two things has happened:

      1) Someone challenged the legality of it. When news first broke that Lotus was developing it, one of the teams – Ferrari would be my bet – asked for clarification. The system was decalred legal, but teams have the power to appeal decisions.

      2) The FIA feels that the system is only just legal, but any serious development of it will only make it more questionable, and so they’re effectively saying “What you have is okay, but don’t take it any futher because then we’ll have to ban the whole thing”.

      • Fer no.65 (@fer-no65) said on 21st January 2012, 1:53

        but I don’t want to see the kind of innovation that I need a degree in engineering to understand.

        Well, everything in F1 needs a degree in engineering at some point. It might be easy to understand sometimes, but you always need someone to explain it to you, like Scarbs.

        And by the way, developments might not be apparent in terms of their utility in road cars and life in general, but the studies that go along and the research, in the end contribute a lot. I bet no one saw what could be done with the active suspension systems, yet it’s very important, as every car would be safer if they had those systems. Same with traction control.

        What if car manufacturers starts producing cars with f-duct, so drag is lower at high speeds, and consumption goes down?

        It’s hard to see it now… give them time.

        • F1andy83 said on 21st January 2012, 2:05

          I believe the new ford focus has what they called active grills. Which in essence is an fduct

        • F1andy83 said on 21st January 2012, 2:07

          Link the fords version of fduct on road cars.
          http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WIixELzJSP0

          • Thanks, @F1andy83 .

            I’ll also note that reactive ride height adjustment could be useful in road cars too — I would not mind having my car be more stable when braking hard or turning at high speed.

          • mole (@mole) said on 21st January 2012, 17:35

            Not quite an f-duct, more like the taping up of sidepods/brake ducts

        • DVC (@dvc) said on 21st January 2012, 4:00

          I guess people always hate what they don’t understand. BAM!

          It’s not good enough to be banning things all the time. The rules in theory should be set some time before the start of the season. If an innovative designer comes up with something that gives them the edge that is within those rules then it is unfair and immoral to ban it really. The only exception should be safety, and any executive power in this regard needs to be used sparingly.

          • Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 21st January 2012, 4:17

            I guess people always hate what they don’t understand. BAM!

            Not at all. I don’t hate the fact that Lotus have come up with this simply because I don’t understand it. I just think that needing to read a thesis in order to understand why they are so quick is asking a bit much.

          • DVC (@dvc) said on 21st January 2012, 6:38

            Well, if it was simple everyone would do it.

            How good an understanding do you think most F1 fans have of aerodynamics, turbulence, or even the fluid dynamics used in shock absorber settings?

            Even the simplest technologies are beyond the understanding of some people. Each fan is able to enjoy the technology to the level of their own technological knowledge. Why should we set the limit of what can and can’t be allowed at your particular level of understanding?

          • matt90 (@matt90) said on 21st January 2012, 13:09

            I’m definitely with DVC on this. Why should things be banned for being very clever? There’d be no aerodynamics if that was the case.

          • Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 21st January 2012, 13:29

            Because both the FIA and the teams have repeatedly said they want the sport to be more accessible to fans. That’s what “improving the show” is (supposedly) all about.

          • matt90 (@matt90) said on 21st January 2012, 15:22

            Accessible to fans is not the same as simple technology. The sport is based on technical innovation, whether remarkably simply (fan cars, F-duct, which is simple in principle if not execution) or complex (the workings of aerodynamics). Wanting a technology banned simply because it is complicated is against the spirit of F1 and ingenuity. I’m sure there are quite a few fans who couldn’t tell you how aero works, how engines work, how gearboxes work.

            Accessible to fans means that drivers should be approachable in that they do signings in the paddock, lots of interviews etc. It means that technologies are clearly explained- whether they are understood is negligible. It means teams embrace things like twitter, facebook etc. It means more effort is made at GPs to feature interactive things- simulators, hands on pit-experiences. It means it is free-to-air so anybody can see it. It means transparency in stewarding and technical decisions. It does not mean everybody has to understand every small detail of the technical innovations or regulations- just that effort is made to make it as clear as possible.

          • BBT (@bbt) said on 21st January 2012, 21:00

            @DVV and @matt90 spot on. :-)

          • BBT (@bbt) said on 21st January 2012, 21:01

            Whoops I meant @DVC and @Matt90

      • A lot of manufacturers talk about how they want Formula 1 to be relevant to their road cars, but how exactly are off-throttle blown diffusers, tuned mass dampers and reactive ride heigh stablisers at all relevant to road cars?

        I take your point, but I hold a slightly cynical view of road car manufacturers to be honest. They are only in it really, to promote their product, and that’s perfectly fine, but then when the going gets tough, most of them bail out. I want to see teams that exist to race and to push the boundaries of what’s possible, within the rules of course. I appreciate that may seem slightly naive, and that F1 is a big business where money talks etc. but I don’t care for the profits of some big car company. The fact that I support Lotus F1 team is somewhat ironic, but again, it’s the F1 team I support. I couldn’t care less what the road car part of the company makes.

        On the other hand, you’ve got Williams developing a flywheel-based KERS system that is said to be more efficient than anything that is currently used – and that hasn’t been banned.

        At the risk of sounding like Captain Hindsight, but if that is the case, and it is more efficient than the battery powered version of KERS, the FIA should have commissioned an independent group to maybe test both solutions before writing the rules, to please the car companies. They would have found that the flywheel version is the more efficient method, and they could have decreed that that fly wheel version is the one to be used. That’s all maybe’s if’s and but’s though. It’s too late for that particular system.

        Also, if the FIA are trying to prevent a spending war, hasn’t that already been headed off with the agreement that the teams reduce their spending over a number of years, which was put in place instead of the budget cap?

        I don’t want to see the kind of innovation that I need a degree in engineering to understand.

        Personally, that doesn’t really bother me that much really. If I don’t understand something, which happens *a lot*, I’ve got ScarbsF1 to explain it. He has a knack of explaining complicated things in a simple manner, which suits me fine, just fine. :P In the end though, I just want to see the fastest cars, the best drivers and the best racing there can be….. and some consistency from the rule makers.

      • Snafu (@snafu) said on 21st January 2012, 14:45

        I’m not sure but i think it had Charlie’s Approval but FIA never clarified its legality before…

      • raymondu999 (@raymondu999) said on 22nd January 2012, 8:33

        @prisoner-monkeys They wouldn’t have protested against the idea.

        What they most probably did is draw up some sketches of the system; tell the FIA it helps their braking anti-dive; helps braking stability; gives them more setup flexibility; and also the aero benefits; then ask if it was legal. The FIA would then say no; and the message would be relayed to the other teams.

  6. Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 21st January 2012, 2:17

    I had to smirk at this headline on Autosport:

    Lotus will reveal Kimi Raikkonen’s Lotus on its new website on February 5

    So, when are they launching Romain Grosjean’s Lotus, then?

    • Mike (@mike) said on 21st January 2012, 3:37

      @Prisoner Monkeys Didn’t you hear? USF1 have built him a lovely toaster, that should be coming within the year I’m sure.

      • Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 21st January 2012, 4:15

        I’m just being facetious. I’ve noticed that, ever since November 29, Autosport have a decidedly pro-Raikkonen, pro-Lotus bent with all their constant stories about how Raikkonen is fully prepared for his comeback and the way they ignore other opinions (like Gerhard Berger saying he wouldn’t have signed Raikkonen). This just adds to my belief – it’s not the new Lotus F1 car that’s being launched, it’s Kimi Raikkonen’s Lotus. Poor old Grosjean is going to be stuck in his shadow all year long, even if he out-performs Raikkonen.

    • Kanil said on 21st January 2012, 4:29

      They have to finish Kimi’s Lotus, launch it, take a picture of it, print that picture out on some cardboard, and then cut it out for Grosjean to drive.

  7. xxiinophobia (@xxiinophobia) said on 21st January 2012, 5:08

    Apparently innovation and creativity are qualities not tolerated in Formula 1.

    • Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 21st January 2012, 5:29

      So teams are allowed to break the rules if they’re innovative and creative about it? The team were concerend that the reactive ride-height system counted as a moving part. The FIA declared the system to be legal – but the teams still have the right of appeal. If one of more of the teams has convinced the FIA that the system involves moving parts and is therefore in violation of the technical regulations and illegal, why should other teams using it be allowed to continue using it?

      • xxiinophobia (@xxiinophobia) said on 21st January 2012, 10:12

        If the FIA’s been convinced that the system is illegal, why are they “aiming to ban” something that’s already banned within the current regulations?

        I’m having a harder and harder time these days believing that FIA doesn’t stand for Federation of Inconsistent Application.

        • Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 21st January 2012, 12:25

          If the FIA’s been convinced that the system is illegal, why are they “aiming to ban” something that’s already banned within the current regulations?

          Because those were Mark Gillan’s words, not the FIA’s. It was his opinion. No doubt he felt that the team had convicned the FIA that the system was illegal, but because it was late on Friday, the FIA would put off actually banning the system until Monday (it just came a little sooner than expected). In the meantime, he appeared on The Flying Lap. And the FIA probably had to find a way to ban it completely, to prevent people from slipping through a loophole and running the RRH regardless. They don’t just say “okay, it’s banned” – they re-write the technical regulations. And they have to do it very carefully, or else they end up in a situation like the end of the 2010 Monaco Grand Prix, with two different teams making two equally-valid and equally-opposing interpretations of the rulebook – in which case, the FIA would have to decide one way or the other, meaning one team would lose out.

          • That’s rubbish. If a team finds finds a totally new concept that is well within the rules but gives them 5 seconds above anyone else, all other teams would also lose out. You should not punish creative interpretation, especially not when you (FIA) wrote the rules yourself and happened to leave room for diffierent interpretations.

      • Sean Newman said on 21st January 2012, 11:19

        Moving parts or no moving parts if the suspension is adjusted in motion it is illegal.

        If the suspensions behaviour changes when the brake pedal is pressed the it’s physical properties have changed. If the physical properties have changed this MUST count as adjustment. What other definition of adjustment could you use?

  8. ram (@ramjet) said on 21st January 2012, 5:53

    Typical fia flip flop.Im betting the red team are all worried about it.

    • Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 21st January 2012, 5:57

      @ramjet – Good of you to pass judgement on them without knowing the reasons why the FIA has changed their stance on the system.

      • They can’t really be judged yet but then again, this scenario has happened so many times over the years I don’t blame the fans for becoming a little tired of it. I know a lot has to be done to regulate the cars from a safety stand point (and I wouldn’t have it any other way despite any grumpy whinge I may have from time to time) but there have also been some questionable decisions in this type of situation in the past. We should wait to see what happens, what’s involved and not give the FIA a hard time too soon but I can’t blame anyone for being sceptical.

      • ram (@ramjet) said on 21st January 2012, 18:35

        because its their M.O.
        Past veto power over tech regs!Who knows what they are up to,dont care or trust them.

    • Ivano (@) said on 21st January 2012, 8:49

      And why would they be worried since they have their own version?

    • Ivano (@) said on 21st January 2012, 9:17

      Actually, the red team is probably saying that now they have something ahead of it’s main rivals, it’s banned. :p

    • Cyclops_PL (@cyclops_pl) said on 21st January 2012, 11:03

      Actually judging by the rumors of who is and who is not developing their version of this system, I would tip Red Bull to actually complain. Then again, they are the ones with advantage to lose. Noble in Autosport said I think on 12th January, that Ferrari already has its own version of the system and awaits approval. Why they would try to ban something they already have?

  9. ScuderiaVincero (@scuderiavincero) said on 21st January 2012, 6:21

    Ever a thorn in my side, the ever-changing nature of the Formula 1 rulebook. I would ask if there’s anything the FIA could do which could make the entire grid more competitive.

    • Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 21st January 2012, 7:21

      How about transparency? The FIA decalred the RRH system legal. Now Gillan says he thinks they are trying to ban it. The FIA could at least explain why their stance on its legality has suddenly and completely changed. Despite the frequent complaints from fans, they don’t do these things for no reason. If they are attempting to ban reactive ride-heights, then they must have a good reason for it. As Sean Newman pointed out in yesterday’s round-up, the RRH appears to be in violation of Article 10 of the technical regulations, which states that the suspension cannot be adjusted while the car is moving.

      I think part of the problem here – and I’m going to be brutally honest about this – is the fans themselves. Read over every comment in this thread, and most of them are attacking the FIA for a sudden backflip without explanation. Now, go back to the top of the article and read what was actually reported, and pay particular attention to what is in bold:

      Williams chief operating officer Mark Gillan on reactive ride height systems: “The FIA have just banned that particular type of system. [...] From a cursory look it looks as though they are aiming to ban that type of system.”

      “From a cursory look” and “it looks as though”. This is by no means confirmation that the FIA have banned RRH, or that they even intend to – it is simply one man’s opinion on the subject. And yet, reading over the comments in this thread, this is what you get:

      As soon as anything innovative or interesting comes along that acts within the rules, the FIA seem to to immediately find some way of banning it.

      Are they going to ban every innovation just because not everybody has it?

      Apparently innovation and creativity are qualities not tolerated in Formula 1.

      If anyone has an innovation they developed privately it must be banned.

      Everybody is acting as if the FIA has already banned it and moved on without saying a word. But that hasn’t happened at all. Based on Mark Gillan’s comments on The Flying Lap, all we can really say for certain is that the FIA might be considering a ban. So everybody in this thread who is criticising the FIA for banning the RRH has collectively jumped the gun.

      It’s a bit like the reinstatement of Bahrain last year. The World Motorsports Council voted to hold the race again, and everybody criticised them for it because they had not consulted the teams until then. But here’s the catch: FOTA could not discuss anything until the WMSC approached them with a proposal. That’s what the WMSC meeting was about – a proposal that would be taken to the teams, who would then discuss it and either approve it or reject it. But before the WMSC could approach FOTA with their proposal, someone accused them of not having gone to FOTA.

      The same thing happened with off-throttle blown diffusers. The FIA wanted to ban them when they realised just how extensively OTBD was being used, which was a perfectly reasonable stance to take, and the ban was something the teams agreed to. But then we had all the nonsense about dispensations to the ban and the way different teams received different exemptions, and the FIA took criticism for it. And maybe they were in the wrong to try and introduce the ban mid-season – but I don’t recall a single piece of criticism being aimed at the teams who agreed to a total OTBD ban in the first place, and then pleaded with the FIA to a) let them keep running their OTBDs and maintain their advantage while b) forcing the other teams to abandon their systems.

      The bottom line is that I think each these episodes highlight a disturbing culture of blame running in the fan communities. It doesn’t matter what the FIA do – they always do the wrong thing, irrespective of what actually transpired. If the FIA issued a press release tonight that said “Upon further examination of the reactive ride-height system proposed by Lotus F1, it was decided that the proposed system was illegal under Article 10 of the techncial regulations for this reason, this reason and this reason”, would anybody notice? Would anybody care if the reasons they gave made perfect sense and could not be argued with? No, they wouldn’t. Because it doesn’t matter what the FIA does – they’re wrong. If the FIA announced that Spa was to stay on the calendar regardless of its financial situation and that if they could not pay the race-sanctioning fees, that was Bernie’s problem, nobody woud applaud it. They’d criticise the FIA for not doing it sooner, or for creating a situation where other circuits had to pay more to make up for Spa’s shortcomings. Because there’s a culture of blame running through the fans.

      • DVC (@dvc) said on 21st January 2012, 7:58

        Or you could take the thread as people criticising the FIA for considering a ban. We could all do exactly what you do and preface all our comments with ‘If the FIA are considering a ban’ and then give our opinion. It wouldn’t change 99% of the debate in the thread though.

        You might consider too that if the FIA gave such a press conference as you describe Lotus would be quite rightly perturbed that a system they’ve been developing for 2 years wasn’t examined carefully enough originally.

        • Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 21st January 2012, 8:17

          You might consider too that if the FIA gave such a press conference as you describe Lotus would be quite rightly perturbed that a system they’ve been developing for 2 years wasn’t examined carefully enough originally.

          We don’t really know the circumstances surrounding the original approval of the system. The FIA could have said “We’re going to need to see more of it before we can say if it is legal or not” just as easily as they could have said “Yes, it is absolutely legal”.

          I think the likely source of a ban will be the teams contending its legality. And they didn’t know – at least, not for sure – what Lotus were up to until the Young Driver Tests. So if the teams protest and get it banned after two years of development, that’s Lotus problem. Spending two years and plenty of money on making the system doesn’t automatically guarantee they will be able to use it.

          • DVC (@dvc) said on 21st January 2012, 8:20

            I agree with that. But on that basis I don’t think the FIA should ever pre-approve anything. The part gets checked the first time you go to pre-scrutineering.

          • Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 21st January 2012, 9:10

            Lotus asked the FIA because they wanted to know whether they could develop it further. If the FIA said no, they would not have poured money into it. If they’re going to spend two years working on something, then they’re going to want to make damn sure it will be with their while.

          • DVC (@dvc) said on 21st January 2012, 11:16

            And if the FIA’s answer is meaningless then what is the point of them giving it?

          • Sean Newman said on 21st January 2012, 11:41

            The FIA simply has to admit it made a mistake in the interpretation of it’s own rules. This is tough on Lotus but absolutely necessary. They should be allowed a dispensation in their budget allowance.

            This has happened many times before. The rules are so complex and at times contradictory the FIA cannot be blamed. We must allow them to change their minds on the interpretation of rules like the gentlemen we are.

            This way they wouldn’t feel the need to behave in the political way they do and just focus on making the right decision even if they get it wrong a few times first!!

            I can live with that though. It’s all good fun!

          • Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 21st January 2012, 12:26

            The FIA simply has to admit it made a mistake in the interpretation of it’s own rules.

            It’s possible that they did. But it’s also possible that Lotus misrepresented things to try and get an advantage. It’s happened before, but a lot of people don’t admit (or don’t realise) just how dirty some of the teams are willing to play.

      • Banburyhammer1 said on 21st January 2012, 12:37

        Of course not, if they stated reasons why it was banned under the current regulations. Then there is no debate.

        Safety reasons aside, if a techonolgy has to be excluded by rewriting the regulations, then surely it would need to take effect the next year? Like with the EBD, F-Duct and Double diffuser? At least then its due process, rather than randomly banning something for the sake of banning it.

        I thought the regulations were supposed to be unchanged throughout each season (again, excepting safety). And the regulations are supposed to have been set in stone for this season.

        Its a moot point anyway, the BBC F1 editor is reporting the technology banned on Twitter. Unofficial, but significant.

  10. Lord Stig (@lord-stig) said on 21st January 2012, 6:52

    I am really quite annoyed by this. I know reactive ride height systems may not be useful at all for a road car but it seems the only ideas allowed in are those which were come up with by the FIA or the TWG in conjunction with the FIA. If anyone has an innovation they developed privately it must be banned. I know arms races that cause massive spending are in the long term not positive but for teams who want to compete in fixed spec series there are plenty on offer.

  11. Funkyf1 (@funkyf1) said on 21st January 2012, 7:01

    Will we see the Flying Dutchman in a slow boat? I have a feeling we might

  12. AndrewTanner (@andrewtanner) said on 21st January 2012, 8:26

    Plenty on todays round-up!

    A little annoying from the FIA but that’s F1 for you. It would feel like a cold and bitter place without all this wrangling over what constitutes an illegal aero device.

    To be honest, I was surprised when it was announced legal but I think @prisoner-monkeys has a point when he says that it may be legal now, but who knows in a few months time. It will then be harder to ban and will yet again make F1 look like a farce in front of the worlds media.

    Innovation is exciting but arguing legalities gets boring pretty quickly.

  13. “J-damper: one bouncy thing offsets another bouncy thing.”

    finally someone explains things to my level of technical understanding! I’ve always been a fan of ‘bouncy things.’

  14. Ivano (@) said on 21st January 2012, 8:51

    For all we know the FIA probably wants to look into it’s reliability for safety measures? It is the braking system after all?

  15. FIA aiming to ban? What happened to the good old days when they’d decide something against popular opinion and do it anyway in half a second? Bah, F1 is too soft now ;) Just kidding. This is totally them to see something new, let it be developed for a little while and then try to ban it. It’s not going to change though because they don’t always see the loop holes or what could be done until some new gizmo has actually been created. Maybe this time it’s for safety measures, I don’t know, I don’t know what goes on with them but after so many years of this scenario happening I’ve stopped believing that F1 is about the best designs and the best innovation. It doesn’t have to be a bad thing especially if it’s for safety reasons but F1 still acts like it is the frontier for technology but that’s debatable. Anyway, that was a ramble and a half…

1 2 3

Add your comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

All comments must abide by the comment policy. Comments may be moderated.
Want to post off-topic? Head to the forum.
See the FAQ for more information.