FIA delays porpoising technical directive

George Russell

Teams will face no additional restrictions with regards to porpoising and car set-up at this weekend’s Formula 1 British Grand Prix after the introduction of a Technical Directive was delayed.

Just prior to the Canadian Grand Prix, it was revealed the FIA was looking to, in part, define a limit to the acceptable vertical movement of cars.

It was planned to introduce the technical directive in Montreal, though the sport’s governing body instead opted to use the event as a data gathering exercise.

That is set to be the case once again in Silverstone this weekend as the FIA seeks a greater understanding of the issue.

Porpoising has been one of the main talking points throughout 2022, with most teams suffering from the phenomena.

It has prompted a number of drivers to voice concerns, George Russell and Carlos Sainz chief among them, that the bouncing is a safety concern.

After the Azerbaijan Grand Prix, Lewis Hamilton revealed he experienced 10G loads through his back during the course of the race, which saw him gingerly climb from his Mercedes F1 W13.

Currently, teams can be as aggressive as their drivers will tolerate when it comes to set-up of the car.

By introducing an ‘Aerodynamic Oscillation Metric’ the FIA had hoped that it could define limits to what was considered acceptable bouncing.

Once set, the penalty for any entry exceeding that figure will be exclusion.

Teams will also this weekend be unable to run a second stay to support the floor, with that allowance part of the now-delayed technical directive.

Mercedes found itself in the crosshairs in Canada after it was the only team able to add a second stay to its car.

Meanwhile, its rivals argued the timing of the technical directive, which was published the evening before the event got underway, left insufficient time to respond.

The insinuation was therefore that Mercedes someone had the inside word of the change before its rivals and was thus able to fit the additional support when others couldn’t.

Ferrari’s Mattia Binotto even went so far as to suggest the technical directive was effectively worthless as it contravened the sport’s governance requirements.

The Italian argued a technical directive can only clarify regulations, and not introduce or fundamentally change the rules – that process requires approval by the World Motor Sport Council.

The upshot for teams is that, this weekend, they will not have any added limitations with regards to porpoising to navigate when it comes to car set up.

Track action in Silverstone begins with Free Practice 1 at 22:00 AEST.