FRIC removed from all cars for German Grand Prix

Leave a comment

The debate that was set to dominate the German Grand Prix weekend has been brought to an end after the FIA confirmed yesterday that none of the eleven F1 teams will be using a FRIC system at Hockenheim.

The front-rear interconnected suspension devices have been used throughout the field for a number of years, but FIA race director Charlie Whiting sent out a technical directive last week that deemed the devices to be in breach of the regulations.

Despite this ruling, teams could theoretically have still used the device at Hockenheim – thus gaining an advantage over the non-FRIC runners – and leave the decision over its legality to the race stewards in Germany.

Most of the teams had already decided to not risk using FRIC, and some of the drivers explained yesterday how it would make very little difference to their lap times. However, to remove all doubt, FIA technical delegate Jo Bauer has released a statement confirming that none of the teams would be using FRIC.

“I can confirm that no car is fitted with a front to rear linked suspension system of any sort,” Bauer said yesterday.

Therefore, that case appears to be shut. The teams could have been able to postpone the ban on FRIC until the end of the season if they had all been in agreement, but this was not possible.

It will be interesting to see what impact – if any – the removal of FRIC has on the pecking order this weekend, but, to quote Fernando Alonso, “we won’t see Marussia on pole”.

Audi bids farewell to Dr. Wolfgang Ullrich upon retirement

Audi Sport
Leave a comment

Audi bid farewell to its iconic head of motorsport, Dr. Wolfgang Ullrich, at its end-of-season ‘Race Night’ event in Germany on Friday upon his retirement.

Ullrich took over the reins as Audi’s head of motorsport in 1993 and stayed in the role for 23 years, overseeing its arrival in the prototype class of sports car racing and domination of the 24 Hours of Le Mans.

Ullrich stepped down from the position at the end of 2016, handing the reins over to ex-Audi DTM chief Dieter Gass, and attended his final racing event with the German marque at its first works Formula E outing in Hong Kong earlier this month.

Ullrich was honored at the Race Night event on Friday and thanked for his efforts in developing Audi into a force within global motorsport.

“In 566 factory-backed commitments during this period he celebrated 209 victories, 13 of them in the 24 Hours of Le Mans, eleven in the 12-hour race at Sebring and nine in the ‘Petit Le Mans’ at Road Atlanta,” a piece on Ullrich’s tenure for Audi’s website reads.

“31 driver titles in super touring car racing, in the DTM and in the sports prototype category are credited to him. 57 campaigners were Audi factory drivers during Wolfgang Ullrich’s era and he was responsible for 18 new developments of racing cars – an impressive tally.”