The 2022 F1 championship is slowly heating up with a series of controversial incidents lately. Following the bumpy and hurtful race for drivers in Baku, the FIA quickly responded by introducing a technical directive to reduce/eliminate the effects of porpoising in the newly designed 2022 cars. Mercedes has been struggling with the porpoising issue since the start of the season. Not just that, both drivers and team boss Toto Wolff have been actively calling for a regulation change.
The FIA introduced the regulation change on Thursday, a day before the start of the Canadian weekend. Following the technical directive, a team principal meeting was held during the weekend. This quickly turned into a heated discussion between the Mercedes, Red Bull, and Ferrari bosses, with Netflix cameras covering the incident for a new season of Drive to Survive.
However, Alpine boss Otmar Szafnauer thinks that the extra drama that was seen during the meeting could be good for motorsport. The team principal claimed that it was hard to predict if the cameras led to the heated-up discussion between the three front rivals. But, Szafnauer also felt that any extra drama was good for F1. This is because more on-screen excitement creates more attention for the sport and attracts new sets of audiences from around the world. Netflix’s Drive to Survive has been a huge success in the sport. Moreover, the show has also created a great deal of liking for Formula One among American fans.
What Led To An Argument Between Wolff, Horner, & Binotto?
During the principal team meeting in Montreal, Wolff disagreed with Horner and Binotto’s claims that porpoising was a Mercedes problem. As per Daily Mail, Toto lost his cool and went into “full Abu Dhabi spec.” The former Austrian driver pointed out that further changes were necessary to counter porpoising issues.
However, Christian Horner and Mattia Binotto have argued against regulation changes. They thought it would be unfair for teams who have countered their bouncing problems. Horner claimed that Wolff needed to put his own house in order, and Binotto also supported the Red Bull boss. Moreover, Mattia stated that Wolff was pushing for changes as a result of Mercedes getting their design wrong. A source disclosed that the argument was on a completely different scale from any debates witnessed before.
The Red Bull team principal further claimed that the conference was hyped up due to the presence of Netflix’s cameras. Horner thought that there was an element of theatre going into the principal team meeting. Hitting back at Toto Wolff, Christian said that Lewis Hamilton could get the Mercedes boss involved in the Briton’s upcoming movie. He added, “As a meeting, it was a shame that, I’m trying to pick my words carefully here.”
Meanwhile, the Alpine team principal commented that he chose to refrain from getting involved in the argument. Szafnauer said it was hard to tell if the cameras caused the drama as it was not a controlled experiment. Otmar added, “I think that kind of stuff if the fans see it and understand it. It just creates a bit more attraction to our sport. I think that’s good.”