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"The FIA says it doesn't want to have an NFL situation"- Mercedes' Toto Wolff slams porpoising in F1 claiming it's 'not good for long-term effect'ย 

The Mercedes boss is adamant a change in regulations is the need of the hour
The Mercedes boss is adamant a change in regulations is the need of the hour

Mercedes boss Toto Wolff is adamant that the regulations need to be altered to get rid of porpoising in cars because they could pose a serious health risk to drivers in the long term. Talking to the media about the whole porpoising debate, the Mercedes boss said that F1 cannot risk having a situation similar to the NFL where drivers face long-term health problems, something that is very common in the National Football league. Wolff's sentiments were made clear by the following statement:

"The GPDA gave their statements, the drivers have given the statements on an anonymous form. The competent specialists and doctors have been consulting, and the result is that it's not good for long-term effect. The FIA says it doesn't want to have an NFL situation."

Toto Wolff was unwavering, quoting recent medical research and analysis that had revealed the effects of porpoising are not ideal. With cars producing a frequency of 6 to 7 hertz over several hours, an action needs to be taken for the long-term health of the drivers. The Mercedes boss also hinted that in this situation, any amount of lobbying or posturing is completely irrelevant as the measures do come down to driver safety.

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"It's very simple: we have always said we can either do nothing, or do the right thing. We have, and FIA has, you can ask them, medical analysis, that frequencies of one or two hertz over several minutes can lead to long term brain damage. We have six to seven hertz over several hours."
"The FIA has just no option than to do something, and I think that trying to leave things alone, or have teams lobbying for it or against it, it's just completely irrelevant. It's a medical question that needs to be answered. And these reports are a reality and they are fact. I don't think that the gang around the FIA will let themselves be manipulated in either direction.

Mercedes' recent form has no bearing on the porpoising debate

Mercedes themselves have been able to solve their bouncing/porpoising issues and their upturn in form has been visible for everyone to see. However, according to Toto Wolff, that should have no bearing on the porpoising debate because at the end of the day, the oscillations suffered by the drivers are going to be harmful in the long run.

Having discussed the porpoising issue with all 20 @F1 drivers & 10 team principals, Iโ€™m happy to confirm that we will be submitting updated 2023 Technical Regulations to the WMSC this week to address this, in addition to the measures already taken for the remainder of this season
"You could say today, it seems like we have understood our car, we are on top of it โ€“ we have pole, let's not change anything. It's irrelevant, because it is a frequency of bouncing and porpoising that's bad for the drivers. We don't understand and can't even relate how it is to be shaken around in these cars.
"Have we got and have all the teams gotten on top of it? Maybe. Maybe not. We haven't been on a bouncing track. Do we need to have some precautions for next year? Yes, for sure."

It will be interesting to discover what the final draft of technical regulations will be once they're put forward by the FIA. Once decided, it could have a bearing on the pecking order for next season.

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Edited by Gaelin Leif
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