If the latest developments are any indication, Mercedes’ dominance might not last for too long.
Last year, we reported that a secret under the skin of the silver car is ‘Fric’ — standing for ‘front and rear interconnected’.
Emulating active suspension, the system is now widespread up and down the pitlane, but the FIA’s Charlie Whiting has sent a letter to teams warning that Fric’s legality “could be called into question”.
An immediate ban is reportedly on the cards. And that is not all.
The Spanish sports newspaper Marca reports that the FIA is also considering clamping down on the rate and flow of hybrid power from the new 2014 ‘power units’.
A source was quoted as saying that while the actual combustion engines produced by Mercedes, Ferrari and Renault this year are remarkably close in performance, the big advantage enjoyed by Mercedes is in the ‘hybrid’ areas.
The source said Mercedes’ advantage could be as much as “between 110 to 130 horse power on the straights”.
Finally, Mercedes could be set to lose a first-lap advantage over its rivals, after Williams’ Felipe Massa complained about the behaviour of the silver cars on the formation lap at Silverstone.
“I had to stop twice, pulling in the clutch,” the Brazilian is quoted by Spain’s sports daily AS.
“They’re doing it (driving slowly) for some reason. We always complain, and Charlie said he was going to fix it, but no one has been penalised yet,” Massa added. (GMM)
FRIC – Front and Rear Interconnected System
The FRIC (Front and Rear Interconnected) suspension is a system which connections the front and rear suspension of the F1 car with hydraulics and aim to give better consistency and drivability for the driver, a perfect reliable aerodynamic platform.
F1 Teams have been using interlinked suspension for a number of years now in order to control either Roll or Heave or in the case of Mercedes both in same times, which allows them to control Pitch.
The advantages of running such systems is helping with mechanical grip and aiding in a consistent and stabile aerodynamic platform.
Concept and layout the FRIC system is simple. At each end of the car there are three hydraulic elements: a pair of elements attached to each pull/pushrod rocker control roll and a centre element linked to both rockers’ control pitch. Each of these elements is linked left to right and front to rear.
The elements, shown in red, link front-to-rear to control dive under braking, the roll elements, shown in green, link side-to-side for antiroll.