FIA Threaten F1 teams with removal of suspension designs

Red Bull Racing suspension - Credit: Octane Photographic Ltd.
Red Bull Racing suspension - Credit: Octane Photographic Ltd.

The FIA has warned Formula 1 teams that if they cannot prove their suspension systems provide aerodynamic gain as their primary purpose they could be requested to remove them.

Scuderia Ferrari had written to the FIA for clarification on the matter, not naming but likely hinting at the designs legally utilised by Mercedes AMG Petronas Formula One Team and Red Bull Racing. These hydraulic systems have apparently been improved upon for this year, and Ferrari must consider it a threat to their championship challenge.

Following a discussion earlier this month that failed to rectify the situation or unite the teams’ beliefs, the FIA has now issued a technical directive intending to clarify any ambiguities.

The document outlines the criteria that the FIA will use to judge the legality of suspensions. It places a greater emphasis upon the aerodynamic performance that they provide.

The following characteristics will fail to comply:

  • Any system that changes how the car responds to body accelerations.
  • No direct coupling between the ride height function and the braking system or the steering system.
  • Right height control via self-levelling.
  • Direct coupling between the role and heave parts of the suspension.
  • The storing of energy for delayed deployment or any system that would result in non-incidental asymmetry in the response to changes in load applied to the wheels.
Mercedes suspension - Credit: Octane Photographic Ltd.
Credit: Octane Photographic Ltd.