FIA bans Lotus-style ride height systems

F1’s governing body has banned the 2012 innovation known commonly as ‘reactive ride height’. The concept, pioneered by Lotus and first spotted in action at last November’s young driver test, was also reportedly being worked on by teams including Ferrari, Mercedes and Williams.

The system, until now deemed legal by the FIA, cleverly adjusts a car’s ride-height under braking via a passive method in the suspension. But the BBC said the Paris federation changed its mind about the legality following “further investigations and representations from rival teams”.

Some team figures are believed to have said the intention is only to improve braking stability, but some rivals argued that the primary function is aerodynamic.

One F1 regulation says “any car system, device or procedure which uses driver movement as a means of altering the aerodynamic characteristics of the car is prohibited”.

An FIA spokesman told Reuters that Whiting sent the directive on Friday following “a number of technical enquiries from teams” about the legality of the Lotus-type concept.


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