This year's technical innovation has taken a while to appear. But from first mentions in the Renault spy case to teams discussing the technology more openly in the first races, it seems there has been a return to Mass Dampers. At first this appears to be a new development, but the J-Damper actually predates the Mass Damper. And, bizarrely, isn't even a damper at all.
Far left is the Ferrari J-Damper mounted between the suspension rockers © XPB/LAT (Click to enlarge)
Unlike the Mass Dampers of 2006, these solutions are smaller and more integrated into the car's suspension. Initially co-developed by McLaren and Malcolm Smith, a Cambridge engineering don, these are technically known as 'Inerters'.
They are more commonly known as J-dampers, which was McLaren's internal nomenclature for the device and appears to have stuck. But the 'J' was not, in fact, for Jounce - a term for a bouncy/jumpy movement - but simply a random letter used by McLaren as a decoy.
Little has been detailed about the J-damper. It is known now that they are a solution like the now-banned mass dampers. The evidence given in the Renault spy case mentioned a mass spinning inside a damper, but the benefit of this in a conventional damper defied any logic. This is probably why Renault did not at first work out the use for the McLaren J-damper.