The F1 2022 championship has been gravely affected by the porpoising troubles in the newly-designed cars. Mercedes were at the forefront of lobbying for possible changes in the technical regulations to protect the drivers from violent bouncing. After a bumpy race in Baku, the GP drivers\’ association organized a drivers\’ survey regarding porpoising concerns. The FIA took the request under consideration and introduced technical changes in the regulations to monitor the number of vertical oscillations and limit the flexibility of the plank and skid blocks under the floor.
Toto Wolff and the two Mercedes drivers have been quite vocal about porpoising concerns and stated on numerous occasions. According to them, the violent bouncing was quite harmful to drivers after Lewis Hamilton suffered a back problem after the Azerbaijan GP. The Briton was seen holding his back after coming out of his car. Recently, Toto Wolff suggested that the FIA needs to make more changes to reduce/eliminate porpoising, which could lead to brain damage in drivers.
The Mercedes team principal pointed out that the drivers will continue to struggle with bouncing on several tracks during the rest of the season. Toto Wolff still believes that the FIA and the teams need to do something about it. Wolff stated that the medical report on the effects of porpoising revealed that being exposed to frequencies of one to two hertz for over a few minutes could lead to brain damage. He added, \”We have six to seven hertz over several hours.\”
Meanwhile, Mercedes has been accused of lobbying for changes in the regulations by their rivals, Red Bull and Ferrari. The Red Bull boss Christian Horner said he did not notice any bouncing issues at the French GP or over the past few races. The former British driver criticized the FIA for intervening in the debate. He pointed out that it was not the governing body\’s job to ensure Mercedes were still competitive.
Toto Wolff Suggests Porpoising Troubles Are Not Over Yet
Wolff also responded to his rival team principal\’s comments. The 50-year-old told that Horner\’s argument did not count. The last few races have been on tracks like Silverstone, Paul Ricard, and Austria, where there isn\’t much bouncing. Toto Wolff shared he did not want to come to Spa or any other upcoming tracks which are not as smooth as the conventional circuits. He added, \”There is this talk about lobbying in both directions, but what are we talking about anyway?\”
The FIA will enforce the new technical regulation during the Belgian Grand Prix after the summer break ends. Although it is believed that Red Bull and Ferrari had found a loophole. It allowed them to make some changes to their floor and take some undue advantage in the championship. The regulations will ensure that the loophole is dealt with and also monitor the vertical oscillations.
Meanwhile, the Red Bull boss felt that it was already too late to make regulation changes. He suggested that the designs for next year has already been finalized. Christian said there was a need for a common-sense solution. The Briton felt rewriting the rule book for the next season at this point was not the right move. According to Horner, the smaller outfits would suffer more from the issue as they won\’t have the resources to react.