The world of Formula 1 was caught by surprise earlier this week when Charlie Whiting wrote a letter to each team to inform them that the FRIC system could be viewed as illegal, hence FIA can’t warrant that cars with FRIC on board pass the technical checks from the German GP onward.
Team principals were surprised when they received the document from the governing body and some believed the reason behind the move was to spice up the show in the ultra dominant Mercedes-era in which only technical glitches can stop the German team from conquering the first two places.
Reportedly, the FIA commenced talks about the front-rear connected suspension layout date back to May when discussions about cost-cutting plans took place in Monaco. However most of the teams wanted to stick to the system until the possible reintroduction of the active suspension.
FIA then appears to have collected information from each team on how their systems work and which effect they have on the overall performance. The system is mechanical and should try and help the car to maintain the ride-height. Autosport learned a technical chief conceded it served only aerodynamic purpose which is clearly in contradiction to the technical rules which prohibit moveable aerodynamical components.
FIA didn’t intend to outlaw the system with immediate effect, but wanted to get rid of it at the end of the year. Teams have to come to a consensus that neither of them lodge a complaint in the remainder of the season. Ferrari, Red Bull Racing, Marussia, McLaren, Mercedes AMG F1, Lotus F1 and Williams have already claimed they will support a pact not to protest any team for running the system. However four squads have thus far not openly provided their support.
It is now up to the remaining four teams - Toro Rosso, Caterham, Sauber and Force India – what they intend to do. If teams manage to share the same opinion, every squad will continue running FRIC which will then outlawed from 2015, if not teams have to remove it from their car or could use it amid fears their cars will be deemed illegal and excluded from races.