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FRICS Give Sauber New Tricks? Thursday 24th July 2014

Time for some Sauber blue sky thinking?

Will the removal of the Front and Rear Interconnected Suspension systems help struggling Sauber?

The competitive order in F1 didn’t seem to vary much last weekend at the German Grand Prix despite all the teams removing their Front and Rear Interconnected Suspension systems (FRICS). The system links the rear suspension with the front suspension to help stabilise ride heights in corners.

Even after removing the systems Mercedes – who were believed to have the most advanced FRICS - were out in front with a clear advantage followed by Williams, Red Bull and Ferrari.

However teams think that this weekend at the Hungarian GP we might see more of a shaking up of the race order. The removal of FRICS has been done because the FIA believe they are a movable aerodynamic device and have brought forward their 2015 season ban.

Jenson Button, a two-times winner in Hungary, believes that the absence will expose areas of the car that FRIC helped with.

“It will be interesting to see how the different cars are without the FRIC systems around the bumps here, because a bumpy circuit is a big issue when you don’t have a FRICS system. A lot of FRICS is to help with the ride quality, so it should benefit the people who are used to not working with them.”
“I think our system is good, but I think other people put more time and effort into theirs, and spent more money on it, while we’ve been working on other areas. We’re used to running without the system – occasionally we’ve had it off the car in the last three years and a lot of the time last year we didn’t use it, so we know what the car does and how it changes the car so it’s drivable.”

Sauber were noticeably quicker in Germany with Adrian Sutil running as high as P10, in the opening stages. The Swiss team have yet to score a point in 2014 and lag behind Marussia in the Constructors’ Championship. Team principal Monisha Kaltenborn is waiting till after Hungary before getting too optimistic.

“I can imagine tracks coming up where we could feel the difference more but we are anticipating an improvement of maybe a few tenths. Will that help us get some points? Who knows, we have to wait and see, but Hungary should give us an indication of what the future holds.

Certainly a change in technology gives an opportunity for an unexpected result and so a cheeky little punt may be on the cards. If you fancy betting on an unexpected Sauber result Click here to bet on Formula 1