Autoview Motorsport & Motoring

Sunday, 22 January 2012

Ferrari and Lotus have new F1 ride height control system banned

Smoking OK  Dipping not Ok!

Ride-height control systems which were in development by Lotus and Ferrari have been outlawed by Formula 1's governing body, the FIA.

The two teams had previously been told the device, which aims to keep the car stable during braking, was ok, but the FIA has had a change of heart after investigations.

The new system has been designed to keep the car's ride-height constant during braking stabilising the airflow over and under the car and affecting its aerodynamic performance.

The ride-height of an F1 car moves only a few millimetres, but the more it can be kept level, the better the car's aerodynamic efficiency.

The device is operated via a front suspension mounted hydraulic cylinder which reacts to the braking forces.

It controls the length of the push-rod - the suspension arm that stretches from the springs and dampers on the top of the car's chassis to the bottom of the wheel upright - in response to braking forces. The brake caliper also moves, this system limits the amount the front of the car dips during braking.

The FIA has banned similar devices that control the movement of a car's chassis over the years. But the governing body initially felt the device in question was a part of the suspension and did not contravene that area of the rules.

F1 insiders say that, once it became clear its main role was to improve aerodynamics, banning it was inevitable.

An FIA insider said Lotus and Ferrari seemed unconcerned at the decision to ban the device.

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