- German Grand Prix
Drivers doubt removing FRIC will change order
Top drivers including Lewis Hamilton and Fernando Alonso are not expecting the removal of FRIC [Front and Rear Interconnected] suspension systems to have a big impact on the relative performance of their cars at the German Grand Prix.
After the FIA warned the teams ahead of the weekend about FRIC, the top teams will remove their systems from their cars this weekend in Germany. Mercedes is believed to be among the teams gaining the biggest advantage from the system but Hamilton does not think he will lose out.
What is FRIC?
- Front and Rear Interconnected suspension systems link the front and rear to help control the pitch of the car under braking in order to maintain its ride height and gain an aerodynamic advantage.
"Naturally, we are always looking for improvements, sometimes we are making modifications which are half a tenth faster, and undoubtedly we might lose some time this weekend but if everyone is taking it off everyone should lose the same, so I don't think the order should change much," he said. "It's going to be a new experience I guess for several different people.
"We tried it [taking it off] at Silverstone [in testing] and it felt very much the same! Probably everyone has to adapt the set up a little bit to utilise different settings but I feel like with the simulator and all the simulator settings we should have a good starting point and we will go through the same processes tomorrow as we do every race weekend."
Alonso also believes the difference will be marginal compared to before.
"It has been in Formula One for some years but there is not a big implication in terms of driving style or anything that can change the behaviour of the car. It's like if you had to race with soft tyres and they tell you now you have to race with the medium tyres. Okay, you will go a little bit slower and some teams will react a little bit better with the medium tyres or some teams will adapt a little bit worse, but you won't see a Marussia on pole position or anything like that. It's just a couple of tenths for everyone."
Red Bull's Daniel Ricciardo made light of the situation, joking: "We'll FRIC-ing see!"
He added: "The thought of it is nice - that maybe Mercedes in particular had a really trick system and will lose out more than we do - but it's just hope for now. We'll see what really happens on track. In saying all that, it's not a change that will cost a second of lap time - it's a tenth or two tenths. It might even make the car faster!"
Lotus is also believed to have an advanced system as it was the first team to develop it, but Romain Grosjean is hoping it will not make a bad season even worse for his team.
"Let's keep fingers crossed that it doesn't cost us less than other teams. We know some other systems are more complicated and some were simpler and didn't use it as much as we did. It's always hard to know exactly where we are but we have to just go and try and see what it gives."