Formula 1 teams have failed to agree unanimously to delay a ban on FRIC suspension until the end of the season. The situation means that the door is now open for protests to be lodged at this weekend's German Grand Prix against any team that runs with the front-and-rear-interconnected suspension concept.
Following last week's letter from F1 technical delegate Charlie Whiting outlining his belief that FRIC could be challenged, efforts have been ongoing to try to get full backing for a non-protest pact between all teams. But although a majority of the teams were in favor of such an agreement, some of F1's smaller outfits were more reluctant to allow FRIC to remain for the rest of the campaign. Their stance is understood to have prompted some of the big squads that initially were willing to go along with a delay to change their view, ending all hopes of a deal happening.
An FIA spokesman confirmed on Tuesday that the governing body was no longer expecting to get a deal in place to prevent FRIC being challenged from this weekend.
"We have not yet got, nor do we expect to get, the agreement of all teams to the proposed amnesty," he said.
TEAMS FACE FRIC CALL
The failure to get full support for a non-protest pact means each team must now choose whether or not to run FRIC. The danger for any team running it is that they risk being disqualified from the results if they are protested and found to be in breach of the rules.
The FIA is not expected to offer any advice about what teams should do now, having made clear in last week's letter that it believed the system could be viewed as illegal.
McLaren on Monday became the first team to confirm that it was taking FRIC off its cars for Hockenheim, and other squads are expected to follow suit. However, with the FIA indicating that it will likely take a hands-off approach and not step in to report any team running FRIC, the situation will come down to whether or not any team will be willing to protest one of its rivals.
One possible scenario is for a team to use the Thursday of the event as a test case for the legality of FRIC, as it is the race stewards who have the ultimate say in the legality of components. If the concept is ruled illegal, then FRIC suspension could be removed before first practice begins on Friday.
If the stewards disagree with Whiting's view that FRIC is an illegal moveable aerodynamic device, then the way would be left clear for all teams to run it again.
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