Your es­sen­tial F1 brief­ing #6: FRIC

F1 Racing - - IN­SIDER -

Holy FRIC!


No, of course not.

Name Front and Rear In­ter­con­nected Sus­pen­sion

Age About six years old Ap­pear­ance Still there if you look closely enough

Do you re­ally want to know?

Well, they do say that you don’t know what you’ve got till it’s gone.

If that Joni Mitchell ref­er­ence goes any fur­ther, you’ll be get­ting a yel­low card. But I di­gress. Just be­fore the Ger­man GP, all the teams de­cided to run with­out their Front and Rear In­ter­con­nected Sus­pen­sion sys­tems. Well, not quite hole-y – the plumb­ing is all still there, since it’s pretty well en­twined with all the other ca­bling and pip­ing in the mono­coque. They just capped off the hy­draulics.

Ah, you can never find a plumber when you need one. Did they try Check­a­trade?

Well, they fi­nally man­aged to get hold of some bloke from Lewisham who used to work for the coun­cil, but he didn’t turn up un­til af­ter the cars had gone into parc fermé.

Why hadn’t I heard of th­ese things any­way?

They were one of those open se­crets that weren’t an is­sue un­til they be­came an is­sue. Re­nault in­tro­duced the tech­nol­ogy in 2008, link­ing each cor­ner of the car via hy­draulics to sta­bilise its me­chan­i­cal and aero­dy­namic plat­form as it re­acted to bumps, kerbs, brak­ing and ac­cel­er­a­tion. You could, for in­stance, run the sus­pen­sion softer to in­crease me­chan­i­cal grip.

Sounds like the Hy­dra­gas sys­tem I had on my Austin Al­le­gro, and the wretched thing was al­ways list­ing to star­board…

Quite. Most teams went through quite a lot of pain and ex­pense to get it right. But it seems that some of them have been too suc­cess­ful…

The old “We can’t make it work as well as the next team, so we’ll get it banned” gam­bit, eh?

Per­haps they should have res­cued your old Al­le­gro from the scrapheap!

Do say: FRIC or unique?

Don’t say: I’m head­ing for a FRIC out

What the FRIC?

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