The FIA and F1 teams have been running back and forth for the past few months regarding the technical regulation changes. The motorsport’s governing body brought back the ground-effect aerodynamics in the cars to generate closer racing in the future. However, the design change led to the return of the porpoising phenomenon, resulting in the violent bouncing of the cars.
While Mercedes struggled early with porpoising, many drivers complained about the safety concerns of the bouncing after the Azerbaijan GP. The two Mercedes drivers were quite vocal about the porpoising concerns and demanded a regulation change. Lewis Hamilton was seen in visible pain while coming out of his W13 after the race in Baku. After so many complaints from the paddock, the FIA decided to intervene and suggested regulation changes to counter/ eliminate porpoising.
However, not all the teams agreed to the change in regulations. Especially Red Bull and Ferrari, who are enjoying Mercedes’ absence at the front. The teams and the FIA finally came to a compromise of increasing the floor height by 15 mm during the recently concluded F1 commission meeting. The governing body also announced that the World Motor Sport Council has also approved the changes that will come in during the Belgian GP and the design changes for the 2023 season.
FIA’s WMSC Approved Regulation Changes, Red Bull “Compromising”
As per the technical director for the race in Spa, the FIA will monitor the number of vertical oscillations in each car and make sure they are under the regulated safety limit by introducing a new sensor below the car. Moreover, the FIA restricted the stiffness of the floor planks and the skid area. The regulation change is expected to affect the performances of Red Bull and Ferrari, who have been accused of taking advantage of the Flexi-floor loophole.
Moreover, for the 2023 season, the FIA proposed raising the floor height by 25mm, eventually settling at 15mm. The diffusor throat height will also be increased along with the increased overall stiffness of the diffusor. And amid all this, Red Bull boss Christian Horner reckoned that the new technical regulation is more of a “compromise.”
Horner said 15mm was not as good as leaving the matter alone. However, he accepted that the change was not as bad as the original 25mm suggested in the proposal. The former British driver believed it is a compromise that the teams would have to incorporate next year. Red Bull would have to deal with the change and find a solution to stay competitive. The 48-year-old concluded, “That’s what we’ve been good at over the years, and we’ll just have to do that with this challenge.”