Funny how the newest things in F1 really have roots that go back ages. Take the latest Mercedes nomination "secret", a trick front suspension that has roots back to the Citroen DS?
OK, that's a bombastic statement but we are talking about a clever "analog" hydraulic suspension developed by Frenchmen.
You can read about the particulars of what the Brackley Silver Arrows have done with their front suspension elsewhere, I will try to distill it.
|look at where the pushrod is attached|
|Red Bull has something similar but not quite|
|Ferrari is sticking by the letter of the rules... and suffering.|
It's borderline legal and brilliant.
Why go through all this effort? Because the system gives you the ultimate in suspension, soft over fast bumps and stiff over sustained corners, allowing the car to float over kerbs while maintaining the optimal ride height and aero efficiency in the fast bits while utilizing tires most efficiently.
It's not a new concept, think Renault mass damper and of course the original FRIC. Ferrari and Red Bulls chassis are not made in a way this can be easily retrofitted but more crucially, Mercedes have the expertise in tuning what is a very complicated system.
The brains behind this system is said to be French engineer Loic Serra, McLaren tried unsuccessfully to poach him away from Brackley. Red Bull however was successful in tempting a Mercedes hydraulic engineer over to their side for next season. At RBR, this yet unnamed tech will work with Pierre Wache another highly touted suspension specialist who, like Serra, came through Sauber from Michelin, where they both were tire interaction engineers in the early 2000s.
You can read more tech details at Auto Motor und Sport and at Motorsport but score one for engineers and zero for the rule makers.