Two weeks ago, in the parc fermé at Bahrain, the Red Bull RB6 was seen to have an extremely high ride height. In fact the car's suspension was holding the car up so high that the rear tyres were in contact with the car's floor, a position that obviously never be useful when running.
After many speculations, it has now been confirmed that Red Bull, and notably also some of the smaller teams' cars have a special ride height control system that allows them to run the cars lower to the ground during qualifying. Since qualifying is now run with the lowest fuel levels possible, and given the fact that a car's suspension has been set up for the race to also withstand high car weights, cars with normal suspension designs are naturally higher above the ground. While this could equal a marginal difference of 1mm, any such difference is vastly important for the efficiency of the car's underbody and diffuser.
Now that everyone has understood the advantages, others teams, including McLaren have confirmed to be anxiously developing similar system which they previously thought were illegal.
yeah arent active suspensions illegal?
Well I for one haven't managed to get a confirmation on the activity of the system, but there sure is an easy possibility to change the ride height.
Well there are 2 rumours doing the rounds. Firstly, that its a ratchet system that adjust according to the pressure being put through the chassis. Its changes when the actual mass of the car changes(alleagedly).
The other is the suspension is pumped full of high pressure gas which gradually releases through valves as the race progresses, Ass the fuel burns of and the car gets hugher the gas is released, nullifying the effect.
Wether its easily implementable or not is a matter of debate. Whitmarsh of Mclaren sems to think so, as he expects the system on his cars for the next race 5 days from now! Wonder if it will work......
It appears that the the FIA have today sent out a letter to all the teams concerning ride height control. Although it's not yet clear what is says exactly, it is though that several homologated systems in this area would now become outlawed.
Does that mean that Red Bull can't use their ride height control anymore? Or is it build somehow different that its still not affected by the new FIA letter?
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