FRIC clampdown a surprise, Boullier admits

FRIC clampdown a surprise, Boullier admits

9 July 2014 – McLaren Racing Director Eric Boullier has admitted that the FIA's clampdown on FRIC suspension systems has come as a surprise.

It was reported on Tuesday that Formula 1 technical delegate Charlie Whiting had written to teams to inform them that the front and rear interconnected suspension systems could be banned from the German Grand Prix.

Although the governing body has offered the field the opportunity to keep the systems on their cars until the end of the current campaign, there will have to be unanimous agreement to prevent an immediate ban.

"It came as a surprise," Boullier said in the latest McLaren Mercedes phone-in. "It's not based on any team action, it's an FIA action. We had been warned at the weekend that something could come out of this.

"We've got a letter from Charlie Whiting, it's actually a technical directive. Most of the teams, if not all, are using this kind of suspension system, which is connecting a little bit different to use the best of the vehicle's dynamics.

"I think some teams may have been extreme, this is maybe why the FIA is questioning the legality of this system. And in the case of McLaren, we are quite relaxed to be honest. We don't see any issue with that.

"I don't think there would be too many disturbances for the rest of the season. We don't like it when there is a technical or sporting change during the season, but maybe there is a reason why the FIA wants to do it."

Interlinked suspension systems have been developed by Formula 1 teams in recent seasons to better control pitch changes from front to rear, aid with mechanical grip and produce a more consistent aerodynamic platform, with current pace-setters Mercedes believed to be running the most advanced system on the grid.

But Boullier does not anticipate potential changes in this area to have a major impact on the pecking order.

"There are maybe a couple of teams who have been extreme and who could be potentially in trouble to switch back to a non-connecting system," said Boullier. "But for most of the teams, I think it won't be a game-changer."

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