17 July 2014
F1 German Grand Prix: Vettel 'hopes' FRIC ban will close things up
Could the FRIC suspension system ban shake things up in the 2014 F1 German Grand Prix? Sebastian Vettel is hoping so...
Sebastian Vettel is hoping the FRIC suspension system ban will help Red Bull Racing and the rest of the field close on the dominant Mercedes' in the German Grand Prix this weekend.
Vettel has had a trying season and to date has taken only two podiums, a far cry from his successes in prior years, when he was crowned World Champion four years in succession.
Looking to his home race, he said he hoped the decision to outlaw FRIC - Front and Rear Interconnected - suspension systems would aid them, although he is uncertain just what effect it will really have.
“As it is one of the things that have obviously got banned now, I hope it brings the field closer to Mercedes,” he said on Thursday in the build-up to round ten in the 2014 Formula 1 World Championship. “But it is difficult to say.”
“I think all the teams have been playing with it to some extent. How much it has an impact, I think it has to be seen this weekend and also probably next weekend as well in Hungary. After those two races we can probably have another judgement,” he added.
Vettel's rivals meanwhile concurred with that view, with virtually all the teams - with the exception possibly of Sauber and Caterham - now set not to use it in the wake of the ruling by FIA technical delegate Charlie Whiting that FRIC systems are likely to be deemed illegal, if any protests are lodged.
“It is the rule and that decides if you can use it or not,” Ferrari driver Kimi Raikkonen commented. “It is not in our car.
“I don't expect that it is going to be completely different, but until we run it, the cars [without it], it is hard to say. Let's see what the other teams do.
“We will know a bit more after this race.”
Rosberg, who leads the championship by four points, noted: “Everyone has it to some extent, so it is impossible to predict [what effect this ban will have]. It can have some influence but we just need to wait and see what happens.”
Sauber team principal Monisha Kaltenborn, however was rather more coy when asked about what the Swiss squad will do, while Caterham have just said 'no comment'.
“We've been running a legal car and we'll continue to run a legal car... The system we have on our car has been deemed legal. I can't judge what others have. It's a very thin line whether if you fall in to article 3.15 or not, but that's for the FIA to decide,” Kaltenborn noted.
When asked if Sauber had changed its suspension system since the British Grand Prix earlier this month, Kaltenborn replied: “Not that I'm aware of.”
However, when it was put to her that the system would therefore be the same, she added: “I never said that!”
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