Mercedes ‘trick’ suspension revealed

formula-1-lewis-hamilton-mercedes-singapore_3784740.jpgTeams up and down the pitlane want the FIA to close a loophole that could possibly explain the massive advantage that the Silver Arrows car currently holds.

The claim comes from Germany’s Auto Motor und sport, who go on to say that the team with the best engine, also have the best chassis.

The report suggests that the Mercedes car uses a hydraulic roll and height control system, which is similar to the banned ‘FRIC’ system that the team used to run. The height control system is expected to cleverly mimic active suspension, and is housed in the top of the chassis.

Back in 2012 when we had the step noses, a vanity panel was used to make the cars look a little easier on the eye. Mercedes used this space cleverly to house the system outside of the carbon suspension tubes, yet still have the device protected within the car.

Correspondent Michael Schmidt said: “The other teams now recognise the trick and put it on the agenda for the technical meeting on the Tuesday after Monza.”

He added that the FIA would like to ban the system but that would require the agreement of all the teams (including Mercedes), to make the necessary changes to the 2017 regulations.

If a FIA ban proves to be impossible for next year, expect the teams to frantically look to develop their own versions of the system.

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13 responses to “Mercedes ‘trick’ suspension revealed

  1. Wonder if this system contributes to the poor starts they’ve been having. For example, if the system counteracts squat then they may be getting less grip at the rear off the line.

  2. Oh, frick, that it? Wow, so how can you hide this? Inside the carbon, maybe? seriously though, how could you possibly hide such a system? Electricity, magnetically?

    • I tried pointing out the Mercedes rear end slumping down after Hamilton spun out on a Friday practice of the 2015 Canadian Grand Prix. It happened when the car went into a stall prevention mode. If I can find the video, I’ll post it.

  3. if it needs a regulation change to ban it then for me simply

    trick = ingenuity = deserved victory

    as it’s always been.

      • Hi Bill, hmm, i don’t recall being anti red bull ingenuity to be honest.
        Not a merc fan, not a red bull fan, but hats off to them when they get it right.

        So if I gave that impression I will say now the Bulls certainly earned their domination when they had it, they built the best cars, hats off to them for that. Might make for less entertaining racing, but that’s life, up to the others to match their level, its called competition people. No denying Red Bull build a damn fine car.

        Of course there’s a difference between finding loopholes and cleverly taking advantage, and outright breaking the rules, (so hidden springs in front wings I won’t applaud, just as I wouldn’t applaud secret tyre testing, deliberately orchestrating safety car periods by crashing, stealing of other teams data etc etc, that’s a list that could go on for a while unfortunately).

        Of course, while I say well done to Merc now, I still want the others to catch up and provide a genuine battle for the title – funny that, I have very high hopes Red Bull will be the ones to do that in 2017.

        Clever is as clever does 🙂

        • Nicely put. This is why I love this sport,find a loop hole and run with it…I wonder which bright eyed star found that one. I have often wondered why magnetic dampers have had such an impact.

          • Looks like this is the result of a team of clever innovators – remember Merc was born out of Brawn which came up with the double diffuser (along with a couple of others who did not make the best use of it).

  4. Trick replaces Fric then! One has to wonder how badly the FRIC-banning rule was written if this is legal. One might even whention the competemmce of Mt Whiting as he presumable gave Merc the go ahead.

  5. If it needs a regulation change, than it is not illegal and when it is not illegal, it is not a trick.
    From what I understand it is mostly a mechanical system which the driver cannot control, also that all teams have it for the rear, but only Mercedes and Red Bull have it for the front. So if the FIA need full approval of all teams, forget it, it is not going to happen. And while other teams might develop something of their own, they are 2 years behind with setup data.

  6. innovation like this that is road relevant should be maintained. the others will catch up. i am all for any development that aids mechanical grip.

  7. Lots of talk about this clever FRIC-like suspension. Most teams have been using this even after it was banned in form of clever remotely operated hydraulic springs. Nothing new here.

  8. F1 has always been a battle between the regulators and the engineers. That’s part of what keeps it at the technical pinnacle befitting formula 1. I’m surprised the other teams haven’t figured it earlier. But it is rather hard to see how that improves the Mercedes car’s power which appears clearly evident as the major source of advantage.

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