Today the FIA issued a technical directive today stating that after studying the FRIC (Front and Rear Inter-Connected) systems used by most teams they are “firmly of the view that the legality of all such systems could be called into question“. While the systems will only be outlawed at the end of this season the continued use of FRIC needs unanimous agreement by all teams.
If not we are in for a very interesting second part of the season but should the FIA be allowed to in effect change regulations/accepted designs mid season, regardless if it is big or small?
voted NO but with the following addenda. If someone is blatantly not following measurable regulations (e.g. wing is too wide, car is too light) then that team and driver should be stripped of points and not a re-write of the rules to accommodate them. Conversely, if someone is finding clever loopholes (i.e. “the spirit of the regulations”), the rules should also not be changed and everyone else should just deal with not being smart enough. Bottom line: never change the rules mid-season, and always enforce them without emotion.
Agree with you on that 1. Rule change should only occur from 1 season to the next, not 1 race to the next.
The FIA knows the teams never agree due to split agendas so there could be some major fall out from this. Could this be like the Brawn year where the other teams come snapping after an early season advantage. It’s going to “spice up” the championship a bit, but I didn’t think it needed spicing up to be fair.
Well, it’s not really a regulation change is it? It is looking more carefully at the current set of rules and if the teams comply. This has happend before (Blown difusor in 2009).
What we should ask instead; why did the FIA not detect this before?
The blown diffuser in 2009 happened at the very start of the season, FIA said it was happy with the design, it went to court and (for good or bad reasons) the judges said it was legal. It is a bit different to this FRIC ban mid-season.
The blown diffusor came later. The 2009 issue was the double-diffusors of Brawn, Williams and Toyota
I’m sorry for the confusion, but I meant the ban on blown diffusers for the 2011 British GP. Because of the ban, Ferrari could score their only victory of that year. And also than, as is the case now, it isn’t the regulations that change, but the way the FIA is implementing it.
I thought f1 was about creative thinking and the exploration of new technology. This is becoming a farce now and something needs to be done about this.
Hell NO they shouldn’t be allowed to do this.
Fully agree Fortis…
Last years tyre change and 2011’s engine mapping/blown diffuser didnt do the sport any good at all. So no.
Seriously stupid. I’m sure the teams have all along asked the FIA for some guidance, or clearance, when instituting these systems. All that money, all that research, now down the toilet?!?
If they want to ban it from 2015, then fine. But less than 2 weeks lead time? It’s just so garage league.
As Ron would say, “where’s the consistency?”
Actually the attempt to ban 2011′s engine mapping mid-season resembles much this FRIC banning in 2014. Then, as now, we had one team running circles around the opposition in part with a technology that is hard to master/develop. So how do you slow them down? Ban the technology mid-season.
Then the problem was that many other teams were using the blowing technology, just not as effectively as Red Bull, and had to lose a lot of performance from the switch. A bit of politicking “for reliability reasons”, and the technology was kept until the end of the season. I’m wondering how the politics are going to play out this time.. Expect Mercedes crying wolf by the end of the day.
That’s a good parallel….
For the fun of it, the ban on “extreme” engine maps happened at the British GP in 2011, and it was revoked immediately after (for “reliability” reasons, of course).
Is it mere coincidence that the ban on FRICs in 2014 happens at the exact same point in the season, around the 9th GP that takes place beginning July? And are we in for a cancellation of the ban before the next GP once Mercedes cries wolff?
It’ll either be an all out war between the teams or they’ll agree to change it for the following season or they’ll ban it for one race, crashes aplenty and the FIA will shelve it on safety grounds. The main concern here is one of safety, giving 2 weeks notice is rather stupid. But then again it’s got the fingerprints of Bernie all over it.
Charlie Whiting… didn’t he start his criminal career at FIA by removing the black box of Senna’s car just after his fatal accident and handing it to Williams to be destroyed?
I thought they (Williams team) wanted to access the data to investigate if there was potential for a similar failure on Damon’s car by comparison? No?
I must admit it would be interesting to see how this would shake things up.
Which teams use FRIC? Is it the main reason Merc are so far ahead or would banning it not really make much difference to the overall order?
It’s an interesting one really. If it is illegal then it is illegal, but it seems a bit rich for someone from the FIA to have indicated to the teams that it was acceptable and then the FIA turn around and say actually it isn’t.
I hope at least they gave whichever teams were told it was OK a heads-up that they were planning a U-Turn to give them a chance to come up with someone else. After all, this test at Silverstone would be a perfect chance to test an alternative. Hardly fair to expect teams to go in to a race situation with a car which could have substantially different – and untested – suspension.
Potentially even safety critical.
“Which teams use FRIC? Is it the main reason Merc are so far ahead [..]”
I would love to hear Lorenzo’s view on this. Is it possible that the space-shuttle advanced FRIC of the Merc is so effective at recuperating downforce that was reduced via the regulating other parts of the car, and that this (along with the power unit) allows the Merc to run circles around everybody? I still never heard one convincing explanation as to why the Merc has so much downforce everywhere, whereas Red Bull has the best-in-class aerodynamic chassis.
We’ve been told the woolly “whole package” and “best at integrating the power-unit with the chassis” story for the Merc domination, but maybe it’s actually their highly advanced FRIC that compensates for the loss of downforce elsewhere on the car. Meaning that the Mercs can take corners as they like, without unnecessary sliding all over the corner..
The thing with FRIC is that it increases mechanical grip as well. Yes you get the aerodynamic benefit because of the more stable car but Mercedes extracts more performance from their tyres as well.
Hence the close racing between Mercedes and also the other teams. Take FRIC away and guys won’t be able to overtake again….
What a fricassee-n mess. Reminds me of a Bugs Bunny cartoon.. Duck or Rabbit?
I made a note of which teams had FRICs or were developing them, possibly late 2012-ish from JS’ notes.. I’ll retrieve it when I am home.
your choice of answers is ridiculous and bias.