After several complaints from F1 teams and drivers, the FIA has announced that it will investigate the porpoising and work with the teams to resolve the phenomenon on the 2022 cars. The regulatory body of the sport has decided to intervene to help teams eliminate the phenomenon, citing driver safety issues as the prime reason.
Announcing the intervention to resolve the porpoising phenomenon, the FIA said:
“Following the eighth round of this year’s FIA Formula One World Championship, during which the phenomenon of aerodynamic oscillations (“porpoising”) of the new generation of Formula 1 cars, and the effect of this during and after the race on the physical condition of the drivers was once again visible, the FIA, as the governing body of the sport, has decided that, in the interests of the safety, it is necessary to intervene to require that the teams make the necessary adjustments to reduce or to eliminate this phenomenon.”
In Baku, Mercedes had the loudest cry about porpoising affecting their drivers' health. Lewis Hamilton, George Russell, and Kevin Magnussen were some of the drivers who complained about severe health effects such as body pain due to porpoising.
Following speculation, however, the drivers' health angle has been used as a ploy by Mercedes to get the FIA and F1 to increase the ride height of the cars to more than the permitted limit. The subject was also discussed at the GPDA meeting where all the drivers had voiced their opinions on driver safety. After discussions over the weekend, the FIA has decided to interview and investigate the issues and find a solution.
FIA issues technical directive to investigate porpoising phenomenon on 2022 F1 cars
The FIA has issued a technical directive involving the scrutiny of the car floors. The regulatory body of the sport will work with the F1 teams to analyze the oscillations in the cars and work on a solution for the same.
Highlighting two measures in the directive to tackle the issue, the FIA statement said:
“1. Closer scrutiny of the planks and skids, both in terms of their design and the observed wear
2. The definition of a metric, based on the car’s vertical acceleration, that will give a quantitative limit for acceptable level of vertical oscillations. The exact mathematical formula for this metric is still being analysed by the FIA, and the Formula 1 teams have been invited to contribute to this process.”
F1 drivers have recently voiced their concerns about the porpoising phenomenon at the Azerbaijan GP, owing to corresponding health issues. One of the solutions to the issue can be the introduction of active suspensions. The technology, however, was banned from the sport in the 90s and the sport has been reluctant to reintroduce it in recent times.
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