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10 Banned Race Cars


4
Williams FW14B
The Williams FW14B was banned because of its active suspension. © 2011 Andrew Basterfield/“Williams-Renault FW14B”/CC BY-SA 2.0
The Williams FW14B was banned because of its active suspension. © 2011 Andrew Basterfield/“Williams-Renault FW14B”/CC BY-SA 2.0

As the moveable wing on the Chaparral 2E shows, if your car can adapt to changing conditions, you're going to have an advantage over cars with a static setup. The Williams FW14B, a F1 race car, did just that but not with its aerodynamics. Instead of changing its aerodynamic components to adapt to track and race conditions, the Williams FW14B had an active suspension.

If you've been car shopping recently, a salesperson might have told you about a car with an active suspension. However, the Williams FW14B is an F1 car, which is more powerful and higher-tech than anything on the new car lot.

The Williams FW14B used a hydraulic system to adjust the suspension based on the individual loads of each of the four tires. That allowed the car to hunker down for more grip in the corners and to rise up slightly for less drag and more speed on the straightaways. Between the 1992 and 1993 F1 seasons the FW14B racked up wins. The FIA, which oversees F1, banned active suspensions on the grounds they were an unfair advantage because not all teams could afford them.


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