The FRIC system, standing for Front and Rear Interconnected suspension, has officially been banned by the FIA, with the ban going into effect by the German Grand Prix. There had been previous speculation that the ban would not go into effect until the start of the 2015 season, but the majority of teams voted for an immediate ban of the technology.
FRIC technology operates on the premise of interlinking the suspension components at each wheel. This is done by placing an actuator at each wheel, which is interconnected by a system of hydraulic lines, controlled by a main, centralized accumulator. This allows each wheel to manipulate stress across the suspension, reducing pitch and roll in certain parts of the car.
The main consequence is an aerodynamic gain and stability. Since fluid can be transferred between wheels and corners of the car, the overall stability of the car is improved. During braking, when load transfer from front to rear becomes enormous, the FRIC system allows the down-force to be altered and the front of the car raised. This allows for a much more aggressive aero kit and front slitter to be employed.
Ultimately, FRIC was banned, because it violated the FIA’s rules regarding the use of suspension and other systems for aerodynamic gain. Ruling FRIC illegal may have negative consequences for certain teams employing the technology, which included Ferrari, Lotus, and Mercedes. Mercedes’ FRIC system is by far the most complex and beneficial, and it’s predicted that the ban on the technology will affect the team rather adversely.