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FIA bans new Formula One technology; Raikkonen makes on-track return

Estonia's Kevin Korjus tried out for Renault at the 2011 young drivers test, where the reactive ride-height systems were used.

Story highlights

  • FIA bans technology which improves aerodynamics of Formula One cars
  • Reactive ride-height systems help cars stay low to the track when braking
  • Lotus driver Kimi Raikkonen takes to the track for the first time since 2009
  • The 2007 world champion tests the team's 2010 car at private event in Valencia

Formula One's governing body has outlawed a technological development which would help teams improve the stability and aerodynamics of a car.

The Federation Internationale de l'Automobile (FIA) took the decision to ban reactive ride-height systems for the 2012 season, with teams such as Ferrari, Mercedes, Williams and Lotus thought to be developing their own versions of the innovation.

F1's official website reported on Monday that the FIA informed the 12 teams of its decision to ban the technology -- which helps stop the car dipping closer to the track under the pressure of braking -- last week.

Lotus' system first came to light at November's young driver test event, with the FIA initially approving the technology as it did not involve the direct input of the driver.

"We have been investigating that type of system for a while," Williams' chief operations engineer Mark Gillan told the Flying Lap webcast.

"It obviously has an impact on the aero platform of the car. Anything that gets the front ride height lower is beneficial from an aerodynamic perspective."

    Elsewhere, 2007 world champion Kimi Raikkonen drove an F1 car for the first time since 2009 at a private test event in Valencia, Spain on Monday.

    The Finn had his first taste of driving for the rebranded Lotus team, formerly Renault, in their 2010 car.

    Raikkonen won the drivers' championship with Ferrari five years ago, having also raced for the British marque McLaren and Switzerland-based Sauber.

    The 32-year-old raced in the World Rally Championship and NASCAR during his time away from F1.

    Raikkonen will take to the grid for the first time since the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix in November 2009 when the 2012 season begins in Australia on March 18.