“After the eighth round of this year’s FIA Formula One World Championship, during which the occurrence of aerodynamic oscillations (porpoising) of a new generation of Formula 1 cars, and its effect on the physical condition of drivers during and after the race, once again The FIA, as the sport’s governing body, has decided that, in the interest of safety, it is necessary for teams to intervene to make the necessary adjustments to reduce or eliminate the occurrence, The FIA, the governing body of world motorsport, said in a statement on Thursday.
The return to ground effect cars for 2022 has seen a revival in F1 of the porpoising phenomenon, where cars lose and then gain downforce in rapid succession, moving the car up and down a circle. Meanwhile, ground effect works best when the cars are driven as low as possible to the ground, with some teams also having additional issues such as getting out and bouncing off the bottom.
After consultation with its experts, the FIA said they were compelled to react to the issue. “In a sport where competitors are regularly driving at speeds in excess of 300 km/h, it is assumed that the driver’s entire concentration should be focused on that task, and the extreme fatigue experienced by the driver or Pain can have significant consequences. Should it result in loss of concentration,” the FIA said.
The FIA said they also had concerns regarding the “immediate physical impact on the health of drivers, many of whom have reported back pain following recent incidents”.
According to the FIA, short-term measures will include a closer examination of the planks and skids under the cars, both in terms of their design and their observed wear. They will also define a metric – the exact mathematical formula that is still being analysed, and to which F1 teams have been asked to contribute – to define a threshold for “acceptable levels of vertical oscillations”.
Several teams suffered bouncing issues over the Baku weekend, with Mercedes’ James Wools admitting after the race that the team had “push the package and our drivers too far; we are getting them into significant trouble and we just do that.” Can’t do that again”.
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