2017 Tech Review Part 2: Hydraulic Pitch Control

In the second part of the 2017 tech review we take a look at hydraulic pitch control (HPC) or "almost-FRIC" - because it works similarly to the banned FRIC (front to rear interlinked) suspension.

HPC, and also FRIC, is used to control the suspension for drivability and aerodynamic gains, for example we've seen teams this season that have managed to run different ride heights depending on where they were on the track.  

"What you're looking for is a more accurate control of pitch - which is the nose-down attitude of the car under breaking, and heave - which is the vertical displacement of the car. Those elements are quite dramatic when it comes to aerodynamics because they upset the front wing which means the rest of the car can be upset", Matthew Sommerfield explains. 

He continues: "I believe that Red Bull were at the forefront of trying to get that to work for them. We know the fact that their car was extremely good, in terms of the rear of the car it would lower on the straights. Obviously downforce is pulling the car towards the circuit in those circumstances so you're inevitably going to get some lowering at the rear of the car, but theirs was exaggerated by the way in which that their suspensions system allowed that. The reason they wanted to do that is that it would actually stall parts of the aero at the rear of the car - things like the diffuser, the rear wing, so it would give a massive drag reduction."