|Ferrari's influence on technical development ...
||[Oct. 13th, 2006|01:53 pm]
Formula One Conspiracies
We are all well aware of allegations regarding a pro-Ferrari bias in the FIA's adjudication of technical legality for any revolutionary development in F1 technology, which arose once again following the mid-season Mass Damper fiasco ... This was far from the first instance of apparent bias (and I am sure that it will not be the last) however I am unable to produce a definitive list of examples.
One classic example dates back to 1998, when McLaren developed a lateral-biasing rear brake system that could be used to stabilise the car's understeer during cornering. Ferrari led the calls for this system to be banned and the FIA subsequently judged the system to be a 4 wheel steering mechanism that contravened the technical regulations.
A more ambiguous example would date back to 1993, when active suspension systems were reaching their peak in F1. Ferrari were lagging behind in the development of their system and their cars were suffering from evil handling, causing them to revert to a passive suspension system for several races. Ferrari once again were at the forefront of the calls to have active suspension banned, joining forces with many smaller teams to advocate the ban on the grounds of development cost (despite having the largest budget in F1 at the time). It was then reported that Ferrari then used their considerable influence to circumvent a proposal put forwards by the smaller teams for the introduction of a standardised system, leaving a reversion to traditional sprung damper based systems as the only viable option.
I am certain that there are many more examples of such tactics being employed, however my memory currently fails me ... which is where you all come in ;)