Ferrari has developed a suspension system for its 2017 challenger which replicates the former FRIC (Front and Rear InterConnected) concept which was banned in 2014.
In its quest for information about the conformity of the system, Ferrari have sent a letter to the FIA’s Charlie Whiting which has now been circulated among all teams.
Since the banning of FRIC, teams have found alternative ways of improving handling and suspension, with Mercedes in particular developing a legal hydraulic system focused on chassis stability.
Given the benefits of the concept designed by Mercedes, several teams are thought to have followed a similar approach for 2017.
But Ferrari’s query, initiated by the Scuderia’s chief designer Simone Resta and seeking clarity on very specific characteristics of the system, may have put the entire general concept into jeopardy.
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- Nicolas Carpentiers’ 2016 F1 technical review
Charlie Whiting’s initial response has been that any system acting in the way Ferrari has described its system would contravene the rules.
This has led to further questions from other teams also seeking clarification. But with the start of the season looming large, teams must now decide whether to revert to a less efficient but legal design, or move ahead with the controversial system at the risk of seeing it outlawed by the FIA”s final ruling.
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