Formula One's governing body has moved to ban controversial new reactive suspension systems like the one being tried out by Lotus. Williams chief operations engineer Mark Gillan said the International Automobile Federation (FIA) had declared the systems to be illegal for the season starting in Australia in March.
"The FIA has just banned that particular type of system," he told Peter Windsor's 'The Flying Lap' live weekly webcast on smibs.tv. Gillan said the clarification had been made in a new technical directive issued by the FIA that he had received shortly before going on air on Friday evening.While the FIA was not immediately available for comment, other sources confirmed the news.
Lotus, previously Renault, tried out their system at a young driver test in Abu Dhabi last year but have not commented on it's significance for the new car to be unveiled next month.
Several other teams, including former champions Williams, were also believed to be looking into similar devices while awaiting an FIA ruling on their legality.
Anything which uses a driver's movement to gain performance by altering the aerodynamic characteristics of a car is banned but the Lotus one was reportedly reactive to brake torque and formed part of the suspension.
"We have been investigating that type of system for a while," Gillan said. "It is obviously an impact on the aerodynamic platform of the car.
"Anything that gets the ride-height lower, particularly the front ride-height lower, is beneficial from an aerodynamic perspective." Ferrari had also reportedly developed a similar system to be used on their car for this season. Red Bull, however, were a significant holdout in developing a system of their own.