Teams can’t agree on trick suspension systems for 2017

You’ll recall the issue that Ferrari raised with TIA technical boss Charlie whiting about the pre-loaded suspension systems? Yes? Well that seems to have caused a bit of a stir amongst teams and according to a report at Autosport, the players are not all in agreement as to what to do about these trick suspension systems.

The reports says that the teams have failed to reach an agreement on the legality of the suspensions and therefore, it could be up to Whiting to make a clarification ruling ahead of the first winter test.

A technical meeting(s) took place last week amongst team engineers and it seems there was not consensus amongst them. Ferrari’s letter to the FIA attempting to clarify the FRIC suspension systems as well as the pre-loaded start systems were under the guise of ensuring their new trick systems would not run afoul of the FIA regulations but, in my opinion, what they really did was pin the FIA down to a more clarified position on the matter in which to protest other teams’ usage of the systems.

Now that the issues have been brought to light, the teams will be forced to address it or risk showing up in Australia in 40 days with a system that that FIA deems illegal. According to the report, the meetings discusses several ways in which to approach the issue including a use of conventional suspension systems, a switch to active suspension or no restrictions on the current hydraulic concept.

This leaves Charlie Whiting the unenviable task of offering a more definitive clarification on the matter which he is expected to do over the next couple of weeks.

Hat Tip: Autosport

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This could turn the season on its head – if the systems used by Mercedes and RBR are banned, that will bring both of them back into the pack. As their aero packages would have been designed to make the most out of whatever tricks they’re employing, they’ll be at a real disadvantage if the tricks are taken away & they’ll be forced into a significant re-design. On the other hand, if the FIA says the Merc & RBR are legal, I fear Ferrari will be way off the pace this year. It seems Ferrari have been querying the FIA… Read more »

Salvu Borg

“There is potential for a real storm to let loose If the FIA decides to find one team (out of merc/rbr) illegal but gives the all clear to the other team”. FULLY AGREE. such an outcome is always possible. in fact there seems to be such an opinion amongst “some F1” sites writers, examples, Amus reckons both rbr and Mercedes systems are legal, Autosprint

Salvu Borg

I left out (moderator permitting) an interesting explanation/interpretation of how the system works by Scabs “motorcentral drivetribe, scarbs explaining about the suspension controversy” “” Scarbs use kids toys to explain how it works.

Don Thorpe

If you can;t figure out how to do it yourself, protest it to screw those that have figured it out.

Troy F Collins

Going back to the Diffuser issue of 2009..Brawn found a way around a ruling that involved the starter hole and being able to view both levels of the diffuser edge from under the car…it was technically within the rules…but obviously NOT within the spirit of the rules Charlie allowed it and the season was predictable…which was sad because of all the work the OWG had already come up with a diffuser that was universal…… Its almost as if it was nationally decided that Brawn was to win the title….. Lets let the teams decide by commitee what is allowed with… Read more »

Salvu Borg

Some systems are not banned directly in technical regulations, they are only indirectly banned by technical directive (TD). A (TD) is an interpretation by Charlie Whiting that Whiting himself has emphasized has no direct enforcement power. A team must protest another to the stewards, and then the stewards can or not be guided by a (TD). If something is not directly banned by technical regulation, a team can continue running it, and if caught can claim their interpretation of the technical regulations were different to that of Whiting’s (TD), they could face a penalty as severs as being excluded from… Read more »

Roger Flerity

The core of the sport’s problems is the power the teams have in deciding what regs are enforced, and how the rules are interpreted – coupled with an ineffective regulating body. The FIA needs to grow a pair and simply make the call consistent with its past rulings on similar systems. The precedent has been set with FRIC and prior to that Lotus’s brake pressure activated front suspension jack, and prior to that Renault’s mass damper. If a system effects ride height with the specific intent of gaining an aero effect/advantage, it is illegal. Any effort to get around this… Read more »

charlie white

Teams can’t agree? Shocking! Bernie has left the building and the sport remains paralyzed? Now we can’t start a new F1 season without a controversy, can we? If there is no decision by the 1st pre-season tests from Charile(not me), that can will be kicked further down the road to the 1st race where 3 teams show up in Melbourne with “illegal” cars awaiting a decision from the race stewards.