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Horner hits out over porpoising complaints

NEWS STORY
14/06/2022

Christian Horner has hit out at the increasing number of complaints over porpoising, insisting that teams have a simple choice between performance and 'driver comfort'.

His comment comes at a time Mercedes' George Russell has called on the sport's powers that be to look at the rules even though it has emerged that a move to officially counter the issue was rejected by the teams.

"The easiest thing is to raise the car," said Horner, "every team has the choice to do that.

"You have a choice where to run your car, and you should never run a car that's unsafe," he added. "I think that's more for the technical guys because certain cars have issues and there are some teams that have very few issues."

Indeed, while the RB18 bounces like the majority of the others, it is nowhere near as noticeable as the Mercedes, hence the lack of complaints from Max Verstappen and Sergio Perez, likewise AlphaTauri and the Ferrari pair.

"It would seem unfair to penalise the ones that have done a decent job, versus the ones that have perhaps missed the targets," insisted Horner, who is of the opinion that there is an agenda behind the increase in complaints.

Using the RB18 as an example, he said that if his team opted to accept the bouncing in order not to lose out on the performance lost by increasing the car's ride height, he would actively urge his drivers to complain, thereby creating the sort of 'click here' headlines that influence public opinion in the hope of persuading the powers that be to react.

"I'd tell them to bitch as much as they could over the radio and make as big an issue out of it as they possibly could," he said. "It's part of the game. It's like somebody (diving) in a penalty box.

"You can see it's uncomfortable," he admitted. "There are remedies to that but it is to the detriment of the car performance. So what the easiest thing to do is to complain from a safety point of view. But each team has a choice.

"If it was a genuine safety concern across the whole grid then it's something that should be looked at," he agreed. "But if it's only affecting isolated people or teams, then that's something that team should potentially deal with."

His view is shared by Lando Norris, who agrees that the teams suffering most have a choice.

"I'm loving it at the minute, I'm not complaining," he tells F1TV. "We have some porpoising and some bouncing, but it's what you have to deal with. It's the trade-off of trying to gain performance.

"We can quite easily go lower, gain performance but have more porpoising," he adds. "We think where we're at is the correct amount.

"I'm sure the Mercedes could have a much stiffer floor and raise the ride height and it'll be much nicer for them. But they obviously just don't want to lose performance.

"I don't think it's anything to complain about, just people need to find ways of fixing it themselves."

Check out our Sunday gallery from Baku, here.

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1. Posted by kenji, 16/06/2022 0:27

"I sometimes wonder at the levels some team personnel will go to explain away these current problems being experienced as a result of performence versus stability! Baku is a good example. In a recent article he says that the Baku 'bad handling' factor was in large part a track factor as being bumpy exacerbates the 'bouncing'. If that's the case, and I understand the logic behind that explanation, why did they alter the set up that would make the car even worse than previous efforts? He then further adds that these problems are race track specific! Hasn't that always been so? How many times do we hear that ' certain tracks in particular don't suit our car'? Red Bull, by their own admission, seem to have largely sorted the problem out so the others should also sort their individusl problems out without the aid of regs changes. Surely one doesn't need a PhD in aero to understand that when employing ground effect aero systems that an irregular track surface profile will result in serious handling issues! John Watson is definitely correct in his descrption of events, likewise Brundle. I'm just waiting to see if Wolff offers a solution supporting a FRIC system....which strangely, just happens to be sitting at the back of our garage......think about it."

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2. Posted by Defiant, 15/06/2022 18:24

"@ Spindoctor. Agreed 100%

Merc built a lemon and it shows. I also agree that testing bans have done nothing but hurt F1. "

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3. Posted by kenji, 15/06/2022 12:35

"No matter how much spin is allocated to this issue it can be resolved almost instantly, withoiut any intervention from the FIA or anyone else as it happens. The fact that teams have been whining for some time now re the cost cap it makes little sense whatsoever to suggest that the teams spend even greater amounts to 'fix' the bouncing when it can be done for zip! Horner is quite correct. Mercedes are sweating over the 'lemon' they've produced. "

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4. Posted by Spindoctor, 15/06/2022 9:27

"It's generally a good idea to ignore most of the stuff coming out of RBR especially anything from Horner regarding Mercedes or Wolff. He does, in this instance, have a point: Mercedes needs to do better, but that doesn't change the fact that FIA's revised design criteria seem fundamentally flawed.

The last time cars used ground effect teams could do almost unlimited testing & development in order to evaluate and refine their designs; that is no-longer the case. Raising the ride-height and stiffening the floors might solve the problems of all the teams regarding porpoising. But teams will still expect\demand that drivers take serious risks with their long-term health in order to extract performance from the cars.

It has been suggested that FIA could establish & monitor "safe" limits to the bouncing but this would simply be a plaster stuck over a wound caused by a combination of intrinsically dubious design requirements & a lack of the testing\computational time required to fix things."

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5. Posted by VC10-1103, 14/06/2022 14:22

"My Lotus 88 comment was meant tongue in cheek"

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6. Posted by MossMan, 14/06/2022 13:05

"@habentsen, @VC10-1103 - thanks for making me look up the Lotus-88 design (I think I'd heard about it before but had forgotten in the meantime).

What was banned in that case was aero moving independently from the bulk of the car - in the Lotus the chassis, engine and cockpit were all suspended on the wheels, while the outer body shell (including wings and underfloor tunnel) was then suspended from the chassis. That allowed aero forces to compress the suspension between the two parts so the bodyshell went down on to the road surface... basically the whole lower body became the skirts that had just been outlawed.

Those regulations wouldn't prevent you from creating a suspended seat or even a suspended survival cell - with all the rest (aero, engine and monocoque) remaining as a unit suspended from the wheels. Having said that, there may well be other regulations blocking it. And you wouldn't quickly/easily be able to apply it to an existing design due to weight and packaging problems."

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7. Posted by Editor, 14/06/2022 11:44 (moderated by an Adminstrator, 14/06/2022 12:10)

"@ Max Noble

Indeed, following the death of Alberto Ascari while testing a Sports Car at Monza, on receiving a phone call informing him of the sad news, Enzo Ferrari's first reaction was: "And the car?"

Of course, like Enzo, Colin Chapman was another who put his creations before the men who drove them."

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8. Posted by jcr, 14/06/2022 11:41 (moderated by an Adminstrator, 14/06/2022 12:10)

""VC10,
I never meant Chapman banned his own creation !!!
"

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9. Posted by Max Noble, 14/06/2022 11:12

"Esteemed Editor Balfe has previously highlighted that Enzo Ferrari used to ask how the car was after a heavy crash, before (if at all) asking about the driver. It would appear some aspects do not change.
As to a duty of care… well the best pathway forward for safety is to never climb into a racing car ever… What to do? What is “reasonable care” in this instance? What is reducing the risk “So far as is reasonably practical?”
Sir Lewis is more likely to die driving, or being driven, to the airport than he is in an F1 car… unless that F1 car has a defective design… Is this season’s Mercedes a defective design? Let’s hope for all concerned we do not have an “Aryton Senna moment” where we all end up in court arguing this stuff…"

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10. Posted by habentsen, 14/06/2022 10:25

"No team boss/driver would sacrifice the tiniest amount of performance available unless forced to do so by regulations, that's just the way they are nailed together as humans.
Win at all cost is the name of the game.



"

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11. Posted by VC10-1103, 14/06/2022 7:43

"As an employer don't the teams have a 'Duty of Care' towards their employees? If there car is causing physical injury wouldn't they be legally required to nullify that risk?"

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12. Posted by Pavlo, 14/06/2022 6:08

"If I were a head of the FIA, what would I do? Ask advice from medical team, what G-level is safe for the driver. And prohibit running any car that exceeds this G-level at any moment on track, with immediate effect.
Listening to team bosses already led us to AbuDhabi ‘21, FIA must avoid it and the only option is to declare the rules, same for everyone, no changes that would favour any team mid-season.
I understand Toto, but there were times last year when Ferrari was “fighting” in the midfield. If MB did their job worse than Alpine, they must stay behind, not force to change rules in their favour."

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13. Posted by Hondaunearthed, 14/06/2022 2:09 (moderated by an Adminstrator, 14/06/2022 12:10)

"Not related to this article, however the quote from Horner below, can be used very much against him in future. Perhaps when he starts whinging that he will miss races due to exceeding the budget cap.
"It would seem unfair to penalise the ones that have done a decent job, versus the ones that have perhaps missed the targets," insisted Horner"

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14. Posted by kenji, 14/06/2022 0:30

"Hard to believe that according to Wolff there is a possibility of these bouncing impacts 'going right to the spine'! If that's really the case and the team know ,that by raising the ride height, it will lesson,maybe eliminate, the bouncing then they would be seriously in breach of providing a car that is detrimental to their drivers health. There are remedies as just explained. The drivers, despite their contracts, cannot be forced to drive an unsafe car if they believe it is detrimental to their safety and health. Every driver has the inalienable right to withdraw their labour without consequence under these condition. The fact that they continue to drive whilst still whining tells a different story.
There exists an interesting aside relative to this problem. Apparently this possible 'effect' was discussed last year by the teams and the FIA where an increase in ride heights was discussed as a possible remedy to 'bouncing' and the teams dismissed it! Also the report by Wolff post race that the GOAT may be forced to miss the race in Montreal due to his physical condition now seems to have been majorly premature as less than 24hrs later the GOAT issued a statement that after ' some physio by Ang' I awoke feeling fine, [maybe a bit sore ] but I will definitely race in Canada. No longer need a smokescreen Toto. All good fun....."

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15. Posted by VC10-1103, 13/06/2022 19:38

"jcr - You've got it. The Lotus 88 but I don't think Colin Chapman and Lotus banned it! that was Bernie and the FIA"

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