Apparently F1 teams want to bring back active suspension technology because they think it would make the rules easier to understand.
Suspension is a hot topic in F1 at the moment, with some teams wanting to use a ‘pre-loading’ system to give them an advantage at the start. The FIA has said that it won’t be allowed but there’s still some confusion over what teams can and can’t do with the suspension, which has led to the suggestion to bring back the active suspension systems.
Active suspension hasn’t been seen in F1 since 1993, after which it was banned on safety grounds. The idea was that computer-controlled suspension would keep the ride height of the car perfectly level at all times, giving massive benefits to grip and aerodynamics. Williams used it to great effect, dominating in 1992 and 1993 with active cars.
Now it’s one of four systems under consideration to be introduced for 2018. Yep, we haven’t even had one race under the new 2017 regulations yet and they’re already looking at making changes.
The other options include stricter suspension rules, separating any aerodynamic influence from suspension rules, or more intense scrutineering of the systems during race weekends. So basically anything except what we currently have now.
According to Motorsport.com the majority of teams are in favour of the active suspension proposal however, claiming it would both simplify the rules and “bring F1 into the 21st century.” If it does get reintroduced there would probably be a fair few standardised components in an effort to keep costs down.
In 2014 Mercedes came up with a proposal for active suspension which would probably be used as a starting point if the FIA decide to go down that route.
It sounds pretty cool, but there was hope that teams influencing the rules and knee-jerk regulations changes were the sort of thing we’d be seeing less of with the arrival of Liberty Media. It’s pretty much the exact opposite of what Ross Brawn said F1 needed to do as well. I guess some things in F1 are going to take a while to change.