Active suspension, 18-inch wheels mooted for 2017

F1 Fanatic Round-up

F1F CSIn the round-up: Teams are considering bringing back active suspension systems which were banned over 20 years ago.


Your daily digest of F1 news, views, features and more.

F1 considers active suspension return (Autosport)

“The move is being considered for 2017, and could come in at the same time as a switch to 18-inch tyre rims.”

Start, Spa-Francorchamps, 1993Russian Auto Racers Hit by U.S. Sanctions Over Ukraine Crisis – Backer (Ria Novosti)

“Sauber Formula One test driver Sergei Sirotkin and Indy Car rookie Mikhail Aleshin are among dozens of mostly Russian auto racers whose careers could be threatened by U.S. and European sanctions related to the Ukraine crisis, an organisation that backs them financially said Monday.”

Sounds like F1 is on right track – Mosley (Reuters)

“I’d do pretty much what Jean [Todt] is doing, which is take no notice. Or pay lip service to the discussion – ‘Oh, that’s interesting, Bernie [Ecclestone]’ – but in the end take no notice because there’s nothing anybody can do, the regulations are fixed, nobody can change anything.”

Brazil president pledges thorough Petrobras probe (ABS-CBN)

“Brazil’s president on Monday promised authorities would carry out a thorough and complete probe of alleged money laundering at state oil giant Petrobras.”

Thanks to @Journeyer for the tip.

How CVC Has Made $8.2 Billion From Formula One Auto Racing (Forbes)

“Since CVC acquired F1 the teams have been paid a total of $3.7 billion in prize money which is nearly as much as the $4 billion that CVC has received from dividends and the sale of stakes in F1.”

Closing the gap to the top teams (Ferrari)

Engineering director Pat Fry: “We are naturally working as hard as we can on closing the gap to the top teams, with Mercedes having a reasonable lead over the rest of the field.”

Fernando Alonso: The family ties that bind Ferrari’s F1 star (CNN)

A lengthy interview with Fernando Alonso from two weeks ago which I didn’t see at the time but was picked up by some others websites yesterday. He says: “If you ask me right now… I am hungry for victories, hungry for success – I will tell you that two championships are not enough.”

Bahrain 2014 – race edit (F1)

Video highlights from the last race, including a little more footage of the aftermath of the Pastor Maldonado/Jean-Eric Vergne collision.

Singapore Airlines spreads wings into F1 (Reuters)

“Singapore Airlines Ltd (SIA) has been unveiled as the new title sponsor of the city-state’s Formula One race in September as the carrier bids to promote its brand to motor racing’s global television audience.”

Ferrari’s vanity unit on overdrive (ESPN)

“Di Montezemolo really ought to take a look in the mirror (I mean that, of course, in the metaphorical sense rather than the practical, with which he is well acquainted). Was it the Ferrari boss who pushed for the 2014 regulations to be changed from the proposed four-cylinder engine to the current V6? I do believe it was. And is it Montezemolo who, having signed up for the new package, is currently rubbishing F1 because his team can’t hack it? I do believe it is.”

Formula One’s Leadership Conundrum (Mark Gallagher)

“There is an inherent weakness in a Formula One team whose boss runs the risk of being removed whenever the results don’t come, even over the course of several seasons. It can take 3-5 years to drive significant change in a Formula One team, such is the time delay in bringing new organisational structures, systems, processes and technology into play. It is not the work of a moment, and is something Ferrari’s new boss Marco Mattiacci may wrestle with.”

Formula One alive and well in 2014 (Mercedes)

Toto Wolff: “Formula One is the pinnacle of automotive innovation. As such, it has a duty to push the boundaries of technology. The new regulations not only encourage this innovation but also make the sport more relevant to the direction in which the motoring industry is heading.”


18-inch Michelin tyres on a Ferrari F138

As F1 considers a switch to larger 18-inch wheel rims, here’s an image produced by Jeremy Hancox for F1 Fanatic last year showing how they might look.


Comment of the day

@Bullmello reckons the FIA handled the Red Bull appeal well:

When Red Bull started using the argument that directives are not regulations and they need not comply, it was akin to admitting they didn’t have much else to go on. Either the FIA is in charge of regulation compliance and enforcement, or not. As we can see, they are in charge.

I also think the FIA was very fair in this case, especially giving Red Bull the chance to comply during the race.

Also glad the call from Mercedes to penalise Red Bull further was ignored. The penalties incurred already were already severe enough and Red Bull has been in compliance since Australia as far as we know.

From the forum

Happy birthday!

Happy birthday to Andrewtanner, Solid, Braddersf1 and Rumfresh!

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

Ferrari substitute driver Nicola Larini landed himself in hot water on this day 20 years ago when he revealed to Italian journalists that his car was running a traction control system – such devices having been banned before the beginning of the 1994 season. Larini was standing in for the injured Jean Alesi at the Pacific Grand Prix.

Images © Williams/LAT, Ferrari/Ercole Colombo and Jeremy Hancox

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124 comments on Active suspension, 18-inch wheels mooted for 2017

  1. Aficionado said on 16th April 2014, 6:39

    I’m not a Ferrari fan, but this is getting a bit ridiculous. Why has this turned into a schoolyard bullying of di Montezemolo? Instead of banding together like a bunch of punks and ridiculing the man, why not (since no one really knows his true motivation) give him the benefit of the doubt, and take his words into consideration? To all those who are nailing him for offering his opinion, saying that it’s detrimental to F1, please remember that Ferrari played a big part in making this sport what it is. I, for one, appreciate that they care enough about it to want it to be the best it can be, whether I agree with their perspective or not. And no, as much as some believe that it’s all about them trying to screw everyone else over, we don’t really know, it’s not fact, and it just shows what a jaded spin those individuals choose to put on things under the guise of being ‘realistic’. One exciting race doesn’t make F1 perfect. Let’s make it even better :)

    • Baron said on 16th April 2014, 6:42

      Yes, lets.

    • Tim (@grez76) said on 16th April 2014, 7:58

      If only Luca had your optmism ;) I’m not a Ferrari fan per say but as an F1 fan I do admire them greatly. There’s no denying that so far this year he has only been critical of the sport due to Ferrari’s shortcomings. Do what Domenicali always says and work hard (I like him) instead of negative politicking the sport which is your bread and butter.

      • JerseyF1 (@jerseyf1) said on 16th April 2014, 9:17

        @grez76 I do wonder whether Dominicali could have lasted a bit longer if he had followed Monty’s line of blaming everything on the technical regulations rather than admitting that Ferrari needed to do a better job themselves. Unfortunately at Ferrari politics seems to be the preferred solution rather than engineering (at least it’s potentially cheaper I suppose)

        • Tim (@grez76) said on 16th April 2014, 9:40

          @jerseyf1 He may have lasted longer but at what cost? Blaming others?!? For me I’m glad he disassociated himself from something he didn’t have control of. He was top brass but it is up to each pawn to tow the line and he was probably too nice to be kicking butts on a regular basis. Good luck to the best (on record) forza.

        • petebaldwin (@petebaldwin) said on 16th April 2014, 11:24

          @jerseyf1 – seems to be working out well for them eh? They haven’t had the fastest car for years!

    • Dave (@raceprouk) said on 16th April 2014, 10:28

      Why has this turned into a schoolyard bullying of di Montezemolo?

      Because he’s dragging F1 through the mud for his own political means.

    • petebaldwin (@petebaldwin) said on 16th April 2014, 11:22

      “Please remember that Ferrari played a big part in making this sport what it is.”

      Indeed – and because it’s not working out for him now, he’s moaning about it. The issues he is mentioning were all relevant before testing started. Everyone knew the engines would be quieter (they are actually louder than most expected). Everyone knew we’d have fuel saving. etc etc

      Why did he not mention it then and instead, wait until it became apparent that Ferrari had a slow car?

      • Brian (@bealzbob) said on 16th April 2014, 17:09

        Indeed. What makes Ferrari’s position worse is the unique position where they; and only they; are stuck with the Ferrari engine. It must drive (get it?) them mad that the likes of Red Bull, McLaren, Lotus if they so choose, can up sticks and go to another engine manufacturer. Seeing teams like Williams and Force India finishing ahead of you on the back of what could be nothing other than the dumb luck of being in the right place at the right time (Merc power unit) must be very disheartening for all involved at Maranello.

  2. raddie (@raddie) said on 16th April 2014, 6:59

    “…among dozens of mostly Russian auto racers whose careers could be threatened by U.S. and European sanctions related to the Ukraine crisis..”
    Do not take politics to the sport and let them do what they know the best!

  3. Tim (@grez76) said on 16th April 2014, 7:32

    I don’t know where Jean Todt would be without such sage words of advice from Max Mosley? I’m sure JT really appreciates them!

    If only there was someone around to offer similar pearls of wisdom to Max’s morally bankrupt bearing that he proceeded to steer F1 along when he was at the helm. Oh wait a minute… there was, multi-national companies, entire countries and thousands of fans calling for his immediate resignation!

    I actually have a great deal of confidence in Todt’s motives for this formula and he is doing an outstanding job without any blindingly obvious advice.

    • Tim (@grez76) said on 16th April 2014, 8:10

      BTW, to put it mildly, I hate Mosley. I just really wish I could curse on this site, maybe just a one-off joker curse reserved for special circumstances? I would be satisfied with that, what say you Keith?

    • Dave (@raceprouk) said on 16th April 2014, 10:30

      Convenient to ignore the huge amount of work Mosley did to improve motorsport safety, isn’t it?

      • PeterG said on 16th April 2014, 11:13

        And road safety.
        A large amount of the work to improve road car safety with the euro ncap crash test’s etc… was done thanks to Max.

        Max actually did a hell of a lot of good for F1 & world MotorSport in many areas & there are many drivers which may not be here today if it wasn’t for Max’s safety push.

      • Tim (@grez76) said on 16th April 2014, 20:43

        When you are paid to do a job then you should produce some work. Producing work does not put you above reproach. He obviously felt he was and continued to drag F1’s image through the mud when he should of stepped down.

        As for promoting safety, the actual work done to improve safety was completed by many individuals which Mosley is more than prepared to take credit for.

  4. Alan Torres (@alan1oo1) said on 16th April 2014, 7:41

    i am the only one that think the race edit is boring… so much things happened on track and half of the video is faces…

    • juan fanger (@juan-fanger) said on 16th April 2014, 12:57

      Boring and/or frustrating. Just like the live feed where, for example, Button might be in a tense battle with someone, pressing hard, just about to arrive at the corner, can’t wait to find out who will outbreak who. So the director cuts to a view of Jessica Whatsherface looking mildly interested. AAAAARGGGHHHH!!!!!!!

  5. Andrei (@crandreico) said on 16th April 2014, 9:12

    In the article it says that this electronic gizmo would be “more cost effective” than the current mechanical or passive suspension at achieving the optimum set-up. Well, I am in doubt regarding about that point since it’s very over simplified that setting the mechanical suspension it’s harder that setting it electronically.
    But hey, I welcome the idea: it will make the cars faster, and probably it will widen the gap between the best drivers and the rest.

  6. Corrado (@corrado-dub) said on 16th April 2014, 9:14

    As someone said already, I think those rims are more like 16-17 inch. They look pretty nice, but I don’t want them in F1. They should stick to the current size. Thing is, the small size rim is like a trademark of F1, visually of course. Changing it, for me, means F1 dies a little bit more as a unique sport.

  7. petebaldwin (@petebaldwin) said on 16th April 2014, 11:15

    I love it… Only in F1 can active suspension be brought in to simplify things and reduce costs! :D

  8. MazdaChris (@mazdachris) said on 16th April 2014, 12:32

    If they want to simplify and cut costs, it would make a lot more sense to introduce the use of spec suspension, steering, and gearbox parts for all teams.

  9. maxthecat said on 16th April 2014, 12:47

    18 inch rims look daft. What next? Neon underlights?

  10. Brian (@bealzbob) said on 16th April 2014, 17:04

    It always seemed contradictory to the point of impossibility to simultaneously look at cost cutting whilst also looking to become more road-relevant with the development of new technologies.

    Surely you pick one or the other. Thankfully they’ve gone with the option that gives F1 the chance to remain as the pinnacle of motorsport rather than to further become the watered down version it was (and still is) threatening to become.

    This is a step forward.

    With the current structure of the payments out of F1, this makes it hard on the smaller teams but hopefully that can be re-worked so that the rewards are fairer and the influence on decision making is fairer too.

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