Formula 1 teams appear to have reached a compromise in order to eliminate or significantly reduce porpoising. A Technical Advisory Committee meeting was held last Wednesday and representatives for the teams were present.
A report from RacingNews365.com states that an agreement was made to raise the car’s floor edges by 15mm. The excessive bouncing of the new F1 cars this year has proved problematic for a number of drivers, especially those of Mercedes.
Lewis Hamilton and George Russell were impacted by the severe bouncing of their car, which contributed to their poor start to the season, especially the seven-time world champion. The silver arrows decided enough was enough and pleaded for changes to be made and now it seems their wish has been granted.
Mercedes Team Principal Toto Wolff had been a vocal proponent of raising the cars’ floors, citing concerns over the effects of bouncing on drivers’ health. “The FIA has commissioned medical work on the porpoising,” Wolff said.
“The summary of the doctors is that frequency of 1-2Hz, sustained over a few minutes, can lead to brain damage. We have 6-7Hz over several hours. So the answer is very easy: the FIA needs to do something about it.”
There were worrying signs for Mercedes initially, as the FIA decided they may hold a vote over their proposed changes to porpoising rules. To combat the issue the FIA had originally suggested that teams must raise the floor edges of their cars by at least 25mm for next season.
Manufacturers will also have to raise the underfloor diffuser and will be subject to more stringent lateral floor deflection tests. The planned regulations changes have split the paddock with Ferrari and Red Bull accusing Mercedes of only pursuing the alterations as they have been unable to solve their own porpoising problems.
The FIA planned to hold a vote on the issue at the World Motor Sport Council, meaning the planned changes may not happen at all. Regardless of the vote, the FIA can still act at its own discretion and go ahead with proposed rule changes, which is now what has taken place.
Following an indifferent start to the 2022 campaign, Mercedes have recovered over the last several races. The last two races saw both Hamilton and Russell on the podium and the British duo will look to continue their momentum when F1 resumes after the summer break in Belgium.