Porpoising has been an issue faced by F1 teams with their newly designed cars under the FIA’s new aerodynamic regulations. The change allowed cars to run lower to the ground. It also focused on generating the downforce from the cars’ floor. However, this resulted in the violent bouncing of the cars due to a sudden shift in the downforce. Out of all the outfits, Mercedes was most affected by the porpoising effects. Thus, the team lacked the performance to compete with the front runners, Red Bull and Ferrari.
Lewis Hamilton has been almost ruled out of this year’s championship with the W13’s troubles. He has not won a single race this season yet. While the German outfit has gotten hold of their bouncing troubles and shown some competitive pace in recent times, the FIA has announced some great news for the team.
On Thursday, the FIA revealed that new measures would be introduced during the 2023 season to eliminate/reduce porpoising in the new generation of F1 cars. The announcement was made during the F1 Technical Advisory Committee meeting. It has come as great news for Mercedes, who have been calling for a regulation change. Lewis Hamilton and several other drivers were pretty vocal about the effects of porpoising on their bodies after the bumpy race in Baku.
How Will The New Regulations Control Porpoising?
The new regulation change would mandate the teams to raise their cars’ floor by at least 25 mm in 2023. The manufacturers will also have to raise the height of the underfloor diffuser, subjected to more severe lateral floor testings. Moreover, a new sensor would be introduced in the cars to measure the number of vertical oscillations. It will prevent the teams from running the car too low to the ground. The F1 governing body also warned that more porpoising issues are expected in the coming months. This is because the teams might find more downforce as the season progresses.
In addition to that, the racing teams will have to stiffen their cars’ plank skids. The FIA plank regulations are considered a short-term solution, coming into action at the Belgian GP. In addition, a new metric to measure the amount of porpoising will be introduced in Spain. The drivers will do a trial of the changes during the Grand GP weekend. The FIA officials also mentioned that the temporary fixes this season should not be considered a long-term solution. The new measures will be approved soon, allowing teams to redesign their cars in time for the 2023 season.
The FIA considers porpoising to be a major safety concern. Hence, the governing body is committed to reducing/eliminating the bouncing issue as quickly as possible. The FIA stated that it is their responsibility to address the safety concerns without being influenced by each team’s competitive position.
They even admitted that porpoising had seemingly reduced during the last few races. However, these races were at circuits where the bouncing effects could be lower or normal. Hence, the increased effects of porpoising could be seen in the coming months, with challenging venues coming ahead.