Formula 1 has seen many new gadgets and features installed on the cars over the years. In 2010 it was the F-Duct, last year it was KERS and DRS and this year it looks like reactive ride heights are the ‘new’ thing.
Lotus were the first team to reveal they planned on using a reactive ride-height system and now Ferrari have revealed they will be using it too, providing the FIA deem it legal. (Okay so that’s not everyone, but ‘two teams are getting in on it’ doesn’t sound as interesting and for all we know there may be more teams using it.)
What is a reactive ride height system?
When a driver brakes, the front end of the car will dip down. With a reactive ride height system, the car would adjust itself so this didn’t happen, thus improving the aerodynamics and making the car more stable. However, the systems need to be approved by the FIA as if the drivers were adjusting the ride height system themselves it would be in breach of Article 3.15 which states a driver can’t adjust the aerodynamic properties of the car.
While the system developed by Lotus has been approved by the FIA, Ferrari are still waiting for approval.
“We are waiting for the final confirmation if this kind of devices will be acceptable or not. But for sure we are looking around these sorts of devices to see if they contribute to a performance. But we need to wait and see what will be the reaction to the FIA on that” – Stefano Domenicali, Ferrari Team Principal
I’m interested to see how many teams will/have developed these systems and how it will affect performance.
What do you think? Think it’s another pointless gadget or are you excited about it?