McLaren racing director Eric Boullier not worried over FIA action

Boullier believes the FIA’s potential in-season ban on a clever suspension device will impact on some teams more than others.

Kevin Magnussen of Denmark and McLaren sits in his car in the garage during day two of testing at Silverstone Circuit on July 9, 2014 in Northampton, England. Mark Thompson/Getty Images
Powered by automated translation

McLaren racing director Eric Boullier believes the FIA’s potential in-season ban on a clever suspension device will impact on some teams more than others.

FIA race director Charlie Whiting caused a stir amongst the teams this week when he sent a letter threatening to outlaw the front and rear interconnected (FRIC) system from the next race in Germany.

FRIC enables the cars to maintain a constant ride height, and is believed to have played a role in Mercedes’ dominance so far this season.

Following a detailed investigation of most of the systems, Whiting feels FRIC contravenes one of the FIA’s catch-all regulations with regard to moveable aerodynamic devices.

There is a possibility the ban could be delayed until next season if all teams unanimously agree for that to happen.

During Tuesday and Wednesday of the in-season test at Silverstone, it is understood all teams ran without the system in case the ban came into force for the grand prix at Hockenheim from July 18-20.

Boullier confirmed Whiting’s directive “came as a total surprise”.

Via a conference call, Boullier added: “It was not based on any team action, it was an FIA action.

“We had been warned at the weekend something could come of this. We got this letter from Charlie Whiting, a technical directive.

“Most of the teams, if not all the teams on the grid, are using this kind of suspension system which better connects the vehicle’s dynamics.

“I think some teams may have been extreme, which is maybe why the FIA is questioning the legality of this system.”

Boullier is confident the McLaren cars will not be adversely affected, but for others it could be a different story.

“In the case of McLaren we are quite relaxed to be honest. We don’t see any issue with it for us,” added Boullier.

“I don’t think there would be too many disturbances for the rest of the season.

“We don’t like it when there is a technical or sporting change during the course of the season, but maybe there is some reason behind why the FIA wants to do it.

“Maybe there are a couple of teams who have been extreme and who could potentially be in trouble in switching back to a non-connecting system.

“I don’t know to be honest. But for most of the teams, I think it won’t be a game-changer.”

Follow our sports coverage on twitter at @SprtNationalUAE