FRIC ban still hurting Lotus ahead of F1’s return at Spa

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Lotus technical director Nick Chester has revealed that Formula 1’s ban on the front-rear interconnected suspension devices (FRIC) is still hurting the team ahead of the second half of the season.

The final run of eight races in fourteen weekends kicks off at the Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps in Belgium next Sunday, and Chester has called for the team to up its game and build on its current total of just eight points.

However, he admitted that the team is still looking to bounce back from the FRIC ban, even though few of the other teams and drivers have raised any concern about not using the system.

“We have made some progress in reducing the deficiency from losing the interconnected suspension but we are still hurting a little bit,” Chester conceded.

“We have some revised mechanical parts for Spa including some new springs and enhanced suspension settings which should help. It was a highly developed system on the E22 beforehand so it is hard to claw all of the performance back straight away.”

The team will not have been able to make up much of the lost time over the summer break, as all of the eleven F1 teams are forced to shut down their operations for two weeks. However, Chester feels that the opportunity to lay down their tools is important for the team to prepare for the final run-in.

“There are two sides to this really,” he said. “As an engineer you actually want to keep on attacking and extract the maximum you can out of the package you have.

“On the flipside, the F1 season is very demanding so actually in the long-term and throughout the whole season it is probably a benefit in terms of human performance.”