Mike Stevens | Jan 23, 2012
 

FIA bans Lotus-style ride height systems

F1's governing body has banned the 2012 innovation known commonly as 'reactive ride height'.

The concept, pioneered by Lotus and first spotted in action at last November's young driver test, was also reportedly being worked on by teams including Ferrari, Mercedes and Williams.

The system, until now deemed legal by the FIA, cleverly adjusts a car's ride-height under braking via a passive method in the suspension.

But the BBC said the Paris federation changed its mind about the legality following "further investigations and representations from rival teams".

Some team figures are believed to have said the intention is only to improve braking stability, but some rivals argued that the primary function is aerodynamic.

One F1 regulation says "any car system, device or procedure which uses driver movement as a means of altering the aerodynamic characteristics of the car is prohibited".

An FIA spokesman told Reuters that Whiting sent the directive on Friday following "a number of technical enquiries from teams" about the legality of the Lotus-type concept.

(GMM)

 

HRT to start 2012 season with new car

HRT has scotched reports it will start the 2012 season with last year's car.

The BBC quoted a spokeswoman for the Spanish team as admitting to a "critical delay", but denied the recent staff and factory shakeups had overly affected development of the new single seater.

HRT's new car is highly anticipated, given the team's struggles since inception in 2010 with the uncompetitive Dallara design.

"Rumours that we will take part in the initial grands prix with the 2011 car are not true," said the spokeswoman.

"The target is to be at the second test with the new car."

The BBC said the team will be present at the opening test at Jerez early next month with the 2011 car.

The former Renault team, meanwhile - now called Lotus F1 - will be at Jerez with its new contender.

It will be launched two days earlier on the team website, before Kimi Raikkonen gives the car a brief track debut on 6 February -- the day before the official test kicks off.

(GMM)

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