Thursday, April 11, 2013

Brawn doesn't expect spending war in F1

Team boss at Mercedes AMG Petronas Ross Brawn has denied that development of the new sophisticated suspension systems FRIC could lead to a new spending war in Formula 1. Read our report on the FRIC system here.

Lotus and Mercedes have been working on this system since 2011 and they are believed to be the first of the F1 teams to fully understand and incorporate this latest technical marvel. This system passively manages the ride height of the car using plain physics and hydraulics by connecting the front and rear suspensions. 

This is the system on the Lotus and it is much more simple than the one on the Mercedes. The system on the Mercedes also connects the left and right suspensions, thereby controlling roll(left to right) as well as pitch(back to front).

With most other teams having this system in development there has been talk that the quest to push its introduction for obvious performance gains, could prove expensive at a time when teams are already pushing to complete development of their 2013 cars before the switch to the 2014 regulations.

When asked by leading motorsport journal, Autosport, if a spending war was on the cards, Brawn replied: "I don't think so. Ever since F1 cars have been invented and aerodynamics were understood, the compromise between suspension and aerodynamics has always been that - a compromise.

"You want a nice softly sprung car, but you cannot do that because you compromise the aerodynamics too much.

"So every year I have been in F1 I have always tried to seek that ideal balance between suspension performance and aerodynamic performance, and it is no different today to how it has been for many years."

An observation in the Autosport report states that after 2012's often close competition, this year the front running teams have jumped clear of the midfield pack, despite regulation stability.

However, Brawn does not agree that the leaders' application of FRIC suspension has had any major influence in that jump in performance.

"I think it is too early to draw any conclusions," he said. "I don't know if the pecking order has been established yet and I don't know what the other teams are doing.

"I feel we have made good progress with the car compared to what we had last year but it is very difficult to judge what other people are doing, why they are doing and whether it is contributing to their performance.

"We have improved in lots of areas and that has at least given us a step forward this year. It is not enough but it is a step forward."

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