Active suspension, which was banned in F1 25 years ago, could return in 2021 as one of several standard parts all teams must use. A proposal to introduce prescriptive parts was put to F1 teams at a meeting between them, Liberty Media and the FIA on Friday in Monaco. Prescriptive parts are standard components which all teams must use, provided by an approved supplier. Some examples of these already exist, such as the Halo and fuel flow meters. But a wider range of prescription parts is under consideration for 2021 in order to reduce costs. They involve areas of car development where there is little performance to be found.
Gear clusters, differentials, front and rear hubs, brakes and drive shafts are also being considered for inclusion on the prescriptive parts list along with active suspension. The FIA banned active suspension systems at the end of 1993 to reduce costs and cut cornering speeds. However, in recent years some F1 team bosses have suggested reintroducing the technology in response to a series of disputes over suspension design.
Teams have resorted to increasingly sophisticated passive suspension designs, such as front-rear inter-connected suspension, to control car ride. A standard active suspension system could offer a low-cost solution, while freeing up F1 teams to spend their budgets on other areas of car development. While the FIA aims to finalise F1’s power unit regulations for 2021 by the end of next month, discussions over other areas of the technical rules are expected to continue into next season.