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”.