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Mercedes FRIC system


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#1 Bloggsworth

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Posted 01 April 2013 - 21:39

Just been reading about the Mercedes FRIC (Front and Rear Interconnected) system. My dad's Austin 1100 had that in the early 60s - How quickly people forget.

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#2 desmo

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Posted 02 April 2013 - 01:49

Here's the illustration showing the installation at the front bulkhead at the highest available resolution from the official F1 site,

Posted Image

I don't know why they even bother hiring the Piola wannabee if they won't show his work.

Sorry for the digression, as you were.

#3 Bloggsworth

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Posted 02 April 2013 - 07:46

Hydrolastic suspension connected the front & rear - About the only thing faster round courners in the mid 60s was a Lotus Elan. It allowed soft suspension with good roll control, the squat and dip on braking and acceleration weren't a major problem on the road. The question is whether FRIC constitutes an aerodynamic advice; the mass damper apparently did, which as far as I can recall had no affect on the aerodynamic attitude of the car, whereas FRIC clearly does.

#4 munks

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Posted 02 April 2013 - 08:51

The question is whether FRIC constitutes an aerodynamic device; the mass damper apparently did, which as far as I can recall had no affect on the aerodynamic attitude of the car, whereas FRIC clearly does.


Specifically, I believe the mass damper was disallowed as a "movable" aerodynamic device despite never touching the external airflow. This is despite the fact that its effective replacement, the so-called "J dampers" or inerters obviously have moving parts as well. And I'm pretty sure the hydraulic pressure in the FRIC system is moving something for it to be in any way useful.

I second your incredulity regarding the arbitrary enforcement of the rules here. One could easily argue that the mass damper is more of a suspension device (as opposed to an aerodynamic device) than the FRIC as well.

Edited by munks, 02 April 2013 - 08:52.


#5 saudoso

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Posted 02 April 2013 - 10:53

But then again, no one is bitch slapping Ferrari with the FRIC yet... So it should survive for a while.

#6 desmo

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Posted 02 April 2013 - 12:58

The entire suspension is an aero device by the rationale used to ban the MD. I don't think they FIA rules guys even know what they are doing. As clearly demonstrated by the MD ruling, they just do as they are told from upstairs and if necessary make up reasons to cover their bosses' asses as best they are able ex post facto. Pretty much the same way most any rigidly hierarchical organization operates.

#7 Bloggsworth

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Posted 02 April 2013 - 13:16

My original point was that this "innovation" isn't in any way innovative, it is 50 year old technology from the much villified Austin-Morris era.

#8 TC3000

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Posted 02 April 2013 - 14:04

the main difference between a road car and a F1 car, is the stiffness ratio between suspension/tyre.
for FRIC or any similar system to be (more) useful, seeing that it will add extra weight and complexity, it would need a form of "hydraulic amplification"
to (try to) compensate for "tyre squash".

The main contributor to change in body attitude angle in a F1 car, is the tyre deflection, especially under braking/pitch.
It was this what Lotus/Renault (the Enstone team) tried to compensate for with their "brake caliper-pushrod" connected system, which got banned as well.

I would be surprised if the systems used are "just" a variant of an "hydrolastic" (Citroen, Austin/Morris etc.) system, I think their is a bit more to it then this.
I agree, that the idea/concept is not new, as many things are not new, but the "innovation" for F1 (or other applications) often lays in adapting these (old) ideas, concepts
to the rules &/or problem at hand.
Renaults TMD wasn't new either, Citroen (and perhaps others) used it before in automotive applications (2CV), szill if tuned properly and matched to the tyre used, it proved so
successful, that it got banned - for one reason or the other.

KINETIC Suspensions developed the "connected suspension" idea for other forms of motorsport (WRC, Dakar), in different forms, and was quite successful with it (Citroen, Mitsubishi) until these systems got banned as well, about 8-10 years ago.
I think the McLaren road car (MP4-12C) uses a suspension based on this ideas/principles, made by Tenneco, which bought KINETIC's some years ago.

what is shown in the drawing Desmo posted, looks eerily similar to the bleeding system used to drain/fill/repressurize something like Audi's DRC/DRC II (used on some RS models) suspension system.

Edited by TC3000, 02 April 2013 - 16:29.


#9 Wuzak

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Posted 02 April 2013 - 22:18

The entire suspension is an aero device by the rationale used to ban the MD. I don't think they FIA rules guys even know what they are doing. As clearly demonstrated by the MD ruling, they just do as they are told from upstairs and if necessary make up reasons to cover their bosses' asses as best they are able ex post facto. Pretty much the same way most any rigidly hierarchical organization operates.


The easy answer for them to ban it was to say that it was moveable ballast. Which it was, in a way.

The Mass Damper was not connected to the suspension, so was not part of the suspension. The suspension is/was excluded from the things that cannot have an influence on aero.

On the other hand, the inerter is part of the suspension.

#10 Wuzak

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Posted 02 April 2013 - 22:19

But then again, no one is bitch slapping Ferrari with the FRIC yet... So it should survive for a while.


It wasn't Ferrari who complained about the MD, since they had their own (though not as integrated as Renault's). I believe McLaren were the team that made the noise about the MD.

#11 saudoso

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Posted 02 April 2013 - 23:36

It was a Bridgestone versus Michelin thing if memory serves me right, it would only work with the Michelins.

EDIT: That's pretty much how I remember it:

Then, astonishingly, the FIA appealed against the stewards’ verdict. A date for a hearing was set following the next round in Hungary and Renault, wisely, opted not to run the mass dampers until further notice.

http://www.f1fanatic...d-mass-dampers/

Edited by saudoso, 02 April 2013 - 23:40.


#12 DaveW

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Posted 03 April 2013 - 22:59

It was a Bridgestone (aka Ferrari) versus Michelin (aka Renault) thing if memory serves me right, it would only work with the Michelins (courtesy, perhaps, of Ferrari's incompetence).

EDIT: That's pretty much how I remember it:

Apologies for the insertions, but I agree. There appears to be some massaging of history, again....

@Wuzak: I don't recall any regulation of the time that would have precluded the use of a dynamic absorber (mass damper) as a suspension element. I believe that Renault used the system for some time with the knowledge of the FIA. The absurd conclusion that it was a "moveable aerodynamic device" was reached only after Brawn complained that it "didn't work with Bridgstone tyres".

Edited by DaveW, 03 April 2013 - 23:09.


#13 Wuzak

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Posted 04 April 2013 - 00:58

Apologies for the insertions, but I agree. There appears to be some massaging of history, again....

@Wuzak: I don't recall any regulation of the time that would have precluded the use of a dynamic absorber (mass damper) as a suspension element. I believe that Renault used the system for some time with the knowledge of the FIA. The absurd conclusion that it was a "moveable aerodynamic device" was reached only after Brawn complained that it "didn't work with Bridgstone tyres".


The problem with the mass damper being part of the suspension was that it was in no way connected to the suspension. The FIA could have banned the device using the rules forbidding moveable ballast, but did not.

#14 desmo

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Posted 04 April 2013 - 01:11

But wouldn't an interpretation based on that logic necessarily make crankshaft counterweights "moveable ballast" as well.

#15 Wuzak

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Posted 04 April 2013 - 01:15

But wouldn't an interpretation based on that logic necessarily make crankshaft counterweights "moveable ballast" as well.


Only if those counterweights were remote from the engine.

#16 DaveW

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Posted 04 April 2013 - 02:55

The problem with the mass damper being part of the suspension was that it was in no way connected to the suspension.

There is a statement.... A bit like saying that the dynamic absorbers fitted to the engine bearers of a DC9 could have had no effect on cabin noise levels because they were not part of the cabin structure. In reality, the mass damper was the suspension (in both cases, actually).

The FIA could have banned the device using the rules forbidding moveable ballast, but did not.

Why not? There would at least have been some logic in the idea, although it would have been doomed to failure because suspension items are excluded, I believe (hope), and the mass damper was a suspension item.

Edited by DaveW, 04 April 2013 - 03:12.


#17 Wuzak

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Posted 04 April 2013 - 06:14

Why not? There would at least have been some logic in the idea, although it would have been doomed to failure because suspension items are excluded, I believe (hope), and the mass damper was a suspension item.


I do not know why they didn't follow that logic.

As a suspension item I would expect a mass damper to be, in some way, connected to the wheels. It was not.


#18 DaveW

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Posted 04 April 2013 - 09:23

As a suspension item I would expect a mass damper to be, in some way, connected to the wheels. It was not.

But the mass damper is connected to the wheels, in the sense that loads generated by the device will affect both the sprung and unsprung masses. Examination of Figure 1 of this reference, for example, introducing the concept of "sky-hook" damping, might explain. In the case of a mass damper the "virtual earth" shown in the third sketch is replaced by the damper mass.



#19 WHITE

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Posted 14 May 2013 - 06:44

10.1.2 The suspension system must be so arranged that its response results only from changes in load applied to the wheels.

Hi all, the above is what rules say about suspension behavior, so I wonder whether these interlinked arrangements are legal since, whereas a given wheel responds to a given load ( complying thus with said rule ), the opposed wheel responds not to a load applied to it but as a result of a load being applied to a chamber in the dumper.





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#20 gruntguru

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Posted 14 May 2013 - 06:59

Reaction to loads from other wheels is what already happens with ARBs and third coils/dampers.



#21 WHITE

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Posted 14 May 2013 - 07:28

'gruntguru'
Reaction to loads from other wheels is what already happens with ARBs and third coils/dampers.


In this case, the load is applied by means of a fluid coming from another wheel which, to some extent, I think that could be even taken as a movable ballast


#22 Tenmantaylor

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Posted 14 May 2013 - 09:18

Specifically, I believe the mass damper was disallowed as a "movable" aerodynamic device despite never touching the external airflow. This is despite the fact that its effective replacement, the so-called "J dampers" or inerters obviously have moving parts as well. And I'm pretty sure the hydraulic pressure in the FRIC system is moving something for it to be in any way useful.

I second your incredulity regarding the arbitrary enforcement of the rules here. One could easily argue that the mass damper is more of a suspension device (as opposed to an aerodynamic device) than the FRIC as well.


:up:

What's clear is that the rule makers were looking for something to slow down the Renault that year to keep Ferrari in the title hunt. If Merc or Renault were dominating the title this year with 5 races to go I wouldn't be surprised if they did the same thing again and they would have precedence for doing so.

All said and done I don't see either as movable aero devices. I'd say a movable aero device is something that directly alters the aero surfaces of the car such as the F-Duct or DRS.

#23 revlec

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Posted 14 May 2013 - 12:16

But the mass damper is connected to the wheels, in the sense that loads generated by the device will affect both the sprung and unsprung masses. Examination of Figure 1 of this reference, for example, introducing the concept of "sky-hook" damping, might explain. In the case of a mass damper the "virtual earth" shown in the third sketch is replaced by the damper mass.


No.
Tuned Mass Damper is not connected to the suspension.
____

a TMD will work on a Kart(which doesn't have suspension) but the FRIC(not possible because there is no suspension to begin) will not.

+ a TMD uses the oscillation of a free mass(attached to springs but not to the suspension) to attenuate(to damp) the oscillation of the car and obtain a more stable car.

+ FRIC has similar goals but it's movement is connected to the movements of the wheels(loads through the wheels).

__
another example.
Put two F1 car(one with the TMD and the other with the FRIC) upside down in the garage and try to push/pull(in a direction vertical to the ground) the wheels with your hands. results?:

The wheels(wishbones) will move for both the cars but only the FRIC(because it's connected to the suspension) as a system will move whilst the TMD will not.


Here is a nice article(sorry but it's in Italian) which also explain why J-dampers and other inerters are legal and the TMD no.
http://www.f1analisi...rodotto-il.html

#24 DaveW

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Posted 14 May 2013 - 16:11

Tuned Mass Damper is not connected to the suspension.

That depends on your definition of a suspension.

a TMD will work on a Kart(which doesn't have suspension) ....

There are many Kart manufacturers (and users) who would disagree with that qualification.



#25 desmo

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Posted 15 May 2013 - 00:06

The TMD isn't linked to the suspension, it is however very much a part of it. Or infinitely more so than it is a moveable aero device.

#26 bigleagueslider

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Posted 15 May 2013 - 04:04

A tuned mass damper functions by creating an inertia force in opposition to the driving force. The FIRC system is a device that transfers suspension forces from side/side and front/rear using a hydraulic circuit, and which also permits some dampening effect by using valves in the hydraulic circuit. The FIRC is just essentially a hydraulic roll bar system.

#27 revlec

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Posted 15 May 2013 - 08:28

That depends on your definition of a suspension.


ARTICLE 10 : SUSPENSION AND STEERING SYSTEMS
10.1 Sprung suspension :
10.1.1 Cars must be fitted with sprung suspension.
10.1.2 The suspension system must be so arranged that its response results only from changes in load applied to the wheels.


For the TMD to work, you don't need to apply load to the wheels(see my examples above). Potential energy(up and down of the free mass) will be enough.
You can put a TMD on a box made of granite with no wheels and it will work, so it's illegal and I don't understand why it was allowed in the first place.

There are many Kart manufacturers (and users) who would disagree with that qualification.

I was talking about the Kart Hamilton, Robserg, Kubica, Alonso used to drive. :)

Edited by revlec, 15 May 2013 - 08:30.


#28 desmo

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Posted 15 May 2013 - 14:17

Without changes in the load applied to the wheels a TMD, and indeed the entire car, is a static sculpture.


#29 TC3000

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Posted 15 May 2013 - 22:29

just for giggles, but still semi related to the topic.
some old(er) patent applications from Daimler-Benz for such systems.
Looks like, it has been a long time in the "making" :) (patents are from ~1958)

Posted Image

link

#30 gruntguru

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Posted 17 May 2013 - 02:06

Makes the Citroen system look simple.

#31 packapoo

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Posted 17 May 2013 - 03:14

It wasn't Ferrari who complained about the MD, since they had their own (though not as integrated as Renault's). I believe McLaren were the team that made the noise about the MD.


Thought process.
Mass damper = Renault
Renault = Briatore
Briatore = cheat

Exit mass damper :cool:

#32 Greg Locock

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Posted 17 May 2013 - 03:59

Thought process.
Mass damper = Renault
Renault = Briatore
Briatore = cheat

Exit mass damper :cool:

I think you got the wrong door, this the Technical forum, pointless wanking is two doors down.

#33 Powersteer

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Posted 20 May 2013 - 04:38

The TMD isn't linked to the suspension, it is however very much a part of it. Or infinitely more so than it is a moveable aero device.

True, MD reacts to changes in road surfaces like a suspension does.

So, what are the mechanical targets set for such a system like FRIC inter-linking front rear suspensions? Are they separated between left and right or act on front rear third damper? I've read they seek to stabilize vertical loads so that ride height is not disturbed by aerodynamic changes but would think the third would be sufficient enough to do this. It also says there is a target to create a suspension that is as soft as possible yet provide enough stability, this one sounds clever. Monaco would be interesting. There has to be more to it.

:cool:

Edited by Powersteer, 20 May 2013 - 09:20.


#34 Tenmantaylor

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Posted 20 May 2013 - 08:02

Is this system likely to be helping or hampering Mercedes in their quest to make the tyres last more than 5 laps? Obviously it's possible to get it right from a tyre perspective as Renault are doing a sound job on race day. Is it as quickly adjustable and to the same extent as more traditional suspension setups?

#35 Powersteer

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Posted 20 May 2013 - 13:01

Mercedes seems to be it getting right during qualifying only where as Lotus seems to be quick in both qualifying and race with probably the best suspension set up in terms of tyre management.

:cool:

#36 Moosey47

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Posted 08 July 2014 - 17:23

http://www.autosport...t.php/id/114881

So it's been in the sport since 2008 and the FIA think now is the time to ban it. In the middle of the season?? 


Edited by Moosey47, 08 July 2014 - 17:24.


#37 mariner

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Posted 09 July 2014 - 09:44

IMHO if you can't have have FRIC you can't have any sort of damper since they can be use to control ride height - at least momentarily- by clever use of valving.

 

I think you can even set the dampers up to more or less permanentely pull the car down.

 

I don't see anything in rules which direclty bans interconnection so how do you ban FRIC but not dampers?

 

Anyway - if it is not a daft question why ban it anyway?



#38 Moosey47

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Posted 09 July 2014 - 11:34

I'm only guessing but as a cost saving measure, to alleviate the need for the smaller teams to spend time and money developing their own competitive systems?



#39 desmo

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Posted 09 July 2014 - 14:45

In a world where an updated 50 year old MIG-21 can probably out dogfight an F-35 JSF, I wonder if restrictive rules actually help or hinder the low budget teams?  A large part of the teams' budgets seems aimed at creatively circumventing those rules rather than developing more straightforward (and cheaper) solutions.  



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#40 MatsNorway

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Posted 09 July 2014 - 18:29

Limit the dodads, limit the fancy materials and your going to get it cheaper. You can do fewer tricks with a fotball than with a skateboard simply because you got less to play with. https://www.youtube....h?v=L6mJc7yeKPg (Since we are doing strange comparisons; Desmo)


Edited by MatsNorway, 10 July 2014 - 09:31.


#41 munks

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Posted 10 July 2014 - 21:41

http://www.autosport...t.php/id/114881

So it's been in the sport since 2008 and the FIA think now is the time to ban it. In the middle of the season?? 

 

That's the problem right there. We can debate all day whether it's moveable aerodynamics or ballast or contravenes some other rule, or if it would reasonably cut costs (BTW, changing rules in the middle of the season does *not* cut costs). But the FIA has signed off on the designs and they've been passing it in scrutineering for years. What exactly changed? I think that's the question I would ask Whiting if I could.