FIA bans Lotus’ reactive suspension

Article by Christian Andrei, on January 23, 2012

The reactive suspension system that Lotus had pioneered has been banned for the 2012 season of the Formula 1. According to sources, the FIA sent a note containing this information to all teams last Friday. The note further reveals that the governing body doesn’t anymore believe that this concept is legal. This concept regulates ride height under braking. It’s not known what the FIA’s reason is for deciding that the reactive systems have to be banned.

Last week, Autosport revealed Lotus idea was approved as far back as last January. But then, competitor teams aren’t expected to exert efforts to prove to the FIA that the Lotus system broke regulations. We first knew of the FIA ban from The Flying Lap webcast, when Williams chief operations engineer Mark Gillan revealed last Friday that he got a note from the governing body right before going on air to inform him of the move.

Gillan added that this system was being investigated for a while and that it clearly has an impact on the aero platform of the car and that when it comes to aerodynamics, lowering the front ride height is advantageous. It was at last year's Abu Dhabi Young Driver Test that the reactive suspension system on the Lotus was seen first.

It helped maintain the front ride height under braking for corners, benefitting both aerodynamic performance and stability. The rival teams were eager to examine the system. Ferrari is believed to be the first to suggest its own version of reactive ride to the FIA. At the Ferrari team’s Wrooom media event in Italy last week, principal Stefano Domenicali said that he was waiting for the governing body to decide on its legality.

Topics: lotus, formula 1

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