Porpoising has been a major issue for the F1 team during the 2022 championship. The Major outfits like Mercedes and Ferrari have experienced the effects of violent bouncing since the start of the season. While Ferrari’s porpoising has not affected their performance a lot, it restricted the Silver Arrows to become the third-fastest team across the circuit as a result of the uncontrollable bouncing. Mercedes boss Toto Wolff, drivers Lewis Hamilton and George Russell have been extremely vocal about the effects of bouncing on the drivers’ health and the concerns posed by the aerodynamic issue.
The problem became a real concern when most of the teams struggled with porpoising in Baku. Several drivers, including Russell, Carlos Sainz, and Pierre Gasly, spoke about the painful bouncing during the drivers’ meet. The F1 drivers admitted that they feared the long-term harmful effects of porpoising on their health. Moreover, Hamilton had a rough time in the cockpit. He came out of his W13 holding his back and suffering from extreme. As a result, the FIA introduced a new technical directive to counter /reduce the effects of porpoising to protect F1 drivers.
Meanwhile, in less than 24 hours of the FIA’s announcement, Mercedes came to the Canadian weekend with a new floor-stay. And this raised some eyebrows among other racing teams. Ferrari was among other teams who raised a doubt about the Silver Arrows introducing a new part a day after the regulation change was brought in. The team principal Mattia Binotto revealed that Wolff said the part was made overnight. Binotto also told that Ferrari would not have been able to do that in just one night. He was surprised that the Silver Arrows were so strong to manage the part overnight. The Ferrari boss added, “I can only trust what he says.”
Was Mercedes Pre-Informed About The Regulation Change?
The rival F1 team accused the FIA of warning the German racing team before the introduction of the technical regulations. Many rivals team believed that Mercedes might have a special channel open in the FIA. Their former executive Shaila-Ann Rao was appointed as the temporary FIA general. However, the floor stay eventually did not work out, and Mercedes went without it on Sunday.
However, Mercedes still controlled their bouncing issue by getting the setup right and attained P3 and P4 in Montreal. Therefore, the rival teams would be keeping a close eye on the Silver Arrows. Meanwhile, Mercedes would hope to take steps and make progress towards eliminating the bouncing of their W13.
Further, the FIA was quick to respond to F1 drivers’ requests to find a solution for porpoising over safety concerns. The FIA guided teams in their technical directive about the governing body’s intentions to counter the issue. The first measure that FIA stated was scrutinizing the planks and skids more closely in terms of the design and the observed wear.
Secondly, the governing body intends to limit the number of vertical oscillations in the newly designed F1 cars. Therefore, the FIA will look to define a metric based on the car’s vertical acceleration. The F1 governing body intended to devise a mathematical formula for the metric. They also invited the F1 teams to contribute to the process. Thus, the FIA plans on taking swift measures to counter porpoising as soon as possible. Hopefully, Mercedes comes with a solution to their bouncing. F1 racing heads to Silverstone for the British Grand Prix on July 3.