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2017 F1

FIA bans Mercedes a new suspension concept after Ferrari letter



FIA bans Mercedes concept after Ferrari letter - report

FIA bans Mercedes concept after Ferrari letter – report

Ferrari has reportedly made a bold bid to catch up in 2017 by designing a new suspension system, or have the Mercedes-pioneered concept banned by the FIA.

Germany’s Auto Bild claims that for its 2017 car codenamed 668, Ferrari has come up with a Mercedes-like, hydraulically-networked chassis.

But before debuting it in late February, Ferrari “asked the FIA for clarification as to whether the (suspension) system is really legal”.

“If not, Mercedes would have to remove it,” said correspondent Bianca Garloff.

Ferrari is not commenting.

But the same news is being reported by Italy’s authoritative La Gazzetta dello Sport, adding that Red Bull also ran the Mercedes-like layout last year.

And the newspaper said the FIA has responded to Ferrari’s clarification request by telling the teams the Mercedes-like system is not allowed.

Correspondent Paolo Filisetti wrote: “The world championship will not begin for three months, but the technical skirmish between the top teams has already reached a high level.”

The FIA’s decision to ban the concept is reportedly because it varies the right-height of the car, not simply to act as traditional suspension but for aerodynamic effect.


  • Wideawake

    @Sasha- And by innovation I think you meant, theoretical? Because there hasn’t been any on a Ferrari for a very long time.
    Compiling a set of nonsensical theories for the sole purpose of getting your opponent’s obviously clever innovation outlawed by presenting a set of unproven solutions on paper- surely isn’t innovation, innovative maybe?

  • Sasha Martinengo

    I do think you need to read the letter Ferrari submitted to the FIA. It is full of innovation actually.

  • Wideawake

    @Vince- My head is not stuck in the sand…. go look up “dilusional” Then go look up facts…

    Remember Ferrari and Vettel boasted of winning races in 2016… reality? They won ZILCH, NONE, ZERO…

  • Wideawake

    @Rex- You need to take things into context. All of Ferrari’s resources were spent on Vettel, and for having the undisputed number 1 role at the team he has under delivered, Raikkonen was merely a support role.
    The 4 titles he won was as a result of the trickery Red Bull was allowed to get away with, until enough was enough, last season was a classic example of Vettel’s fickle mind when he is put under pressure on the track.

  • Vince Perillo

    wideawake you need to get some sleep,you’re dilusional…

  • In a word “Politics”
    F1 has a pretty messed up rules system but what a lot of people fail to realize is that they like it that way. The teams deliberately work to put in loop holes because it’s within the loopholes that they make ‘wacky’ developments that give them an edge.

    The general proceedure seems to be “Team A invested a lot of time and money into system X with shady legality. The FIA reviews the system once it’s discovered by the marshalls, so long as the system doesn’t directly violate the rules (The rules are hardly black/white in many cases) or is dangerous, the FIA usually let’s them run with it for the rest of the year. Part of this is to reward teams for their idea, partly because of the expense of development, and part of it is actually safety. Because the cars are designed around this system and removing it, arguably, can have knock on effects to stability (Like removing active suspension did) The Teams will argue this ad-nauseum with the FIA and Charlie and get the lawyers involved when they need too.

    Then Team B realizes what’s going on and decides that they need to develop their own version of the system to be competitive. While simultaneously doing the initial development, Team B will submit an appeal to the FIA asking confirmation if the system is legal. This is just tactics, because the appeal forces the subject out into the open. If the system is determined to be illegal then Team B doesn’t have to spend resources developing system X. The FIA considers the consequences of legalizing the system as well, because even if the system is technically legal it has a knock-on effect to the teams because all the other teams now potentially have to spend resources to develop there own version etc etc.

    Then Team A fights back with there lawyers blah blah blah

    F1 Politics

  • Leonardo Pisano Bigollo

    I understand. You want the winner to be more about the driver and less about the car. I agree.

  • Salvu Borg

    Out of the over 50 clarifications that were issued one concerned Mercedes, Mercedes wrote to Whiting it have reservations about the construction of the front of the RBR RB12 chassis (front suspension frame) that the rules mandate must be fixed sizes (300mm wide and 275 height and a radius of 25 degrees) according to Mercedes the RB12 did not respect the rules, At first Whiting responded that the RB12 interpretations did not respect the rules, but than Charlie cleared the RB12 frame as he said it was already at an advanced stage of construction and there would be no time to change it, so he said that the subject would be brought in the next meeting to be held in February to define regulatory changes for 2018.

  • Jeffrey Kirk

    “FIA bans Mercedes a new suspension concept after Ferrari letter”
    Confusing headline………

  • dinoart

    lol, you are right, I agree.

    But for that I have simple solution. Remove “automatic” from equation.
    Make is mechanical and controlled by driver.

    Problem with obsolete driver we have already.
    Any driver in Mercedes could beat any driver in Ferrari, in 2016.
    They was clean 2 seconds per lap faster. Who care who drive it.
    So. If rules forbid Ferrari to catch up. What is that?
    If rules are there to let Mercedes and Red Bull do whatever and others are not allowed, what is that? From what I can see we have fixed Championship. One team win by default.
    Do they maybe pick in advance who will win? And then fix rules so that can happen?
    I do not trust FIA one word.

  • Rex

    Yeah, that Vettel guy sure does suck:

    2015: 3rd in the championship (Raikonnen was 4th)
    2016: 4th in the championship (Raikonnen was 6th)

    Yup, Vettel is clearly the weak-link at Ferrari…(massive eye roll)

    He didn’t win FOUR consecutive world titles simply by being in the fastest car with a field full of inferior drivers (they weren’t–it included world champions Schumacher, Alonso, Raikonnen, Hamilton and Button (and I may be missing someone…). He did it because he’s a great racer. You might want to look at his career F1 stats if you’re unclear on that point.

    And, no, I’m not even a Vettel fan but credit where credit is due.

    Also, you seem unclear on the whole FRIC thing. F1 rules BAN anything that can dynamically change the ride height of a car while on track. If that’s what FRIC does, then Mercedes broke the rules and the FIA either didn’t enforce the rules or didn’t understand the effect of the system.

  • Leonardo Pisano Bigollo

    They had that sort of rule structure and active suspension, auto gearboxes, traction control, ABS and even 4 wheel steering (developed but not introduced) took the driver out of the equation. If F1 does what you say with the rules, then the computer will make the driver obsolete.

  • dinoart

    Rule in F1 should be, width, length, height, weight, amount of fuel, (in case of turbo hybrid, maybe amount of batteries) and that’s it.
    You know, simple rules, less restrictions. It is Formula 1, not some local racing.

  • Bart B

    The proposed device was a description of what Mercedes was already using, Ferrari asked for clarification to force the FIA to rule on a system they felt was illegal.

  • Salvu Borg

    How could FRIC be legal over such a long time?.
    How can these present hydraulic storage devices be legal over a year?.
    What are Charlie and his team doing when they check the cars?.
    why does one need to write a letter to get the rules applied?.

  • Roger Flerity

    FRIC should never have been allowed when it was. The contrived and more complex separated 2016 version of it should not been allowed either – as it was explained to be a device to control ride height all along, employed specifically for that purpose by Mercedes and Red Bull, which brought Red Bull fresh success, and kept Mercedes at the front in 2016. Like the brake force induced suspension system from Lotus (disallowed in a unique instance of pre-emptive action, while down the pit lane others were getting away with numerous other infractions and “tweaks” like flexible wings, etc…) and the mass damper of Renault prior to that, etc, etc… the FIA and Whiting’s incapacity to control enforcement of its own complex and over-reaching regs on a timely and proactive basis, is symbolic of the sports core issues. Complex rules with weak oversight and inconsistent enforcement will be amplified by rules changes in 2017 – exploited by teams who know they can get away with a great deal without being called out until after they have won the prize for their cheats. That’s how F1 works, nothing new here. What’s new is the odd defensiveness of fans, about Ferrari in this case as the villain here – or blaming a driver (Vettel), for the poor performance of a car (which even the great Fernando Alonso was unable to realize success with.) This seems now a part of F1 and its story.

  • McSerb

    And I suppose McLaren gets another $100,000,000 fine now. Oh, wait, Ferrari asked for a clarification of the rules this time. What`s the difference this time ? The system was deemed legal until Ferrari asked for a clarification, same as their floor in 2007 when McLaren asked for a clarification.

  • Wideawake

    Typical Ferrari of late- no imagination or innovation. Mercedes would still be ahead of the game as they were trialling many innovations during the 2016 season.

    Vettel is their weak link but who am I to say this? He’s a spent force who was trust into stardom by the dominant and at times not so legal RBs.

  • VFB – Nilsson

    So do they ban the mercedes suspension or only the mercedes like concept?

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