Mercedes to remove FRIC system for Hockenheim

Mercedes W05 front suspension

Mercedes W05 front suspension

Mercedes will remove the complex FRIC system from its dominant W05  ahead of next weekend’s German Grand Prix, their home race.

The FIA surprised the entire world of Formula 1 this week by informing teams that it now regards the innovation, which mimicks outlawed active suspension, as potentially illegal.

The technical directive issued by Charlie Whiting opened the door for some teams to lodge protests in Hockenheim and beyond that could forseeably be upheld by the stewards.

On Thursday, Auto Motor und Sport reported that the teams most likely to lodge protests are McLaren, Ferrari and Caterham.

The technology, linking the four suspension corners hydraulically, has been around for at least a couple of years, when it was pioneered by Lotus.

It is therefore a surprise to most Formula 1 figures that, suddenly, the FIA is wondering aloud if it contravenes the catch-all regulations against moveable aerodynamic devices.

Most cars in 2014 feature some sort of FRIC iteration, but it is widely believed that Mercedes and Red Bull have developed the most complex and effective systems.

Mercedes Team Chairman Niki Lauda said on Thursday: “The system has been used for two and a half years and all technical inspections have occurred without objection.

“So it is difficult to understand why suddenly the perspective has changed,” he told  respected AM&S correspondent Michael Schmidt.

Lauda called on the FIA to take a precise position on the legality of the system, “We don’t want to invest any more in something that is against the rules. We want to know whether it is legal or illegal”

Schmdit said that he expects Red Bull to also remove FRIC  (standing for ‘front and rear inter-connected) – from their title-chasing car for Hockenheim. (GMM)