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FIA acts to reduce porpoising

NEWS STORY
16/06/2022

A technical directive has been issued by the FIA to give guidance to the teams about the measures it intends to take to tackle the problem of porpoising.

The move follow's last weekend's Azerbaijan Grand Prix during which the phenomenon of porpoising (aerodynamic oscillations) of the new generation of F1 cars, and the effect of this during and after the race on the physical condition of the drivers was once again visible

As the governing body of the sport, the FIA 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.

The measures the FIA intends to take include:

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.

In addition to these short-term measures, the FIA will convene a technical meeting with the teams in order to define measures that will reduce the propensity of cars to exhibit such phenomena in the medium term.

The FIA has decided to intervene following consultation with its doctors in the interests of safety of the drivers. In a sport where the competitors are routinely driving at speeds in excess of 300km/h, it is considered that all of a driver's concentration needs to be focused on that task and that excessive fatigue or pain experienced by a driver could have significant consequences should it result in a loss of concentration.

In addition, the FIA has concerns in relation to the immediate physical impact on the health of the drivers, a number of whom have reported back pain following recent events.

It's understood that new limits on the oscillations will be set before FP3 and if teams cannot provide a set-up deemed to be safe they will be forced to increase the ride height on their cars by 10mm.

Should cars still be found to be oscillating over the set limit they would face disqualification.

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READERS COMMENTS

 

1. Posted by Chester, 18/06/2022 23:16

"I'll wait for the results of this mid-season change. As a mid-season change, it deserves hard scrutiny. Right now it smells of trying to level the field. I'll reserve my verdict until data comes in in the form of race and qualifying results."

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2. Posted by TokyoAussie, 18/06/2022 11:36

"Has there ever been a more vague “directive” in history?"

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3. Posted by equator180, 17/06/2022 16:01

"The Hamster cries, the FIA rock the cradle. "

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4. Posted by elsiebc, 17/06/2022 15:46

"Throughout all this the comments are always about the teams willing to trade driver risk for performance and completely ignoring the driver's role. Taking risks for speed is what they do. Always have, always will. Remember when DRS was first introduced and it's use was unlimited during practice and qualifying? Remember the drivers complaining that that wasn't safe? Remember all the drivers that only used it judiciously and safely? No? I know that for many it's easy to imagine someone with a particular accent ordering someone else who does not have blonde hair and blue eyes to do something life threatening, but I assure you that that dark haired dark eyed guy isn't requesting a change in ride height from his engineers either."

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5. Posted by kenji, 17/06/2022 12:58

"@ Pavlo...thanks for your response. Your 1st point is one I have trouble with. The point being that teams will ignore driver safety if they can get more performance and that you're ok with that? That IMO is dead wrong and no team should ever willingly put a drivers life /safety ahead of performance. As I said in an earlier post it was my belief that all teams have this 'bouncing' but is is not evenly distributed across all teams with the same severity. RB for example may have some problems but they can safelty drive around them...the same goes for Ferrari. Depending on the 'metric' and the point at which it is calculated could be the difference bewtween a win or a place.

@ MossMan...good points. It will be fascinating to see where this all plays out.RB though seem to have the impression that they are losing some advantage."

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6. Posted by MossMan, 17/06/2022 11:21

"@kenji: "Under the proposed changes Red Bulls' competetive edge has beeen watered down..no?"

No! Far from it - I think some people are reading this wrong... it's saying that the teams experiencing excessive porpoising (e.g. Mercedes) have to do something about it (i.e. more height, less speed) while the teams which do not porpoise (e.g. Red Bull) do not. This is actually a sensible rule (assuming they don't get bogged down in team disputes about measuring the porpoising - the 'metric') as it is simply saying to those complaining about the safety... well then do something about your car!"

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7. Posted by Pavlo, 17/06/2022 11:13

"@kenji - I think it will not affect RB at all IF all is as it stands in the article.
The point (and a fair one) from MB was that if F1 team can trade safety for speed, they will do, so this must be regulated by the governing body. I agree.
But while MB hoped that FIA will sanction the reduction of speed, FIA is going to sanction safety. Absolutely right. Clearly it will cost MB speed, otherwise they would have it fixed already.
Now if RB is not lying and they don’t have an issue with porpoising, they can keep their car as it is and MB will have to lose performance. Very good.
But if RB is lying and they will also have to reduce speed, it would mean that they damage the health of Max without admitting it. And I’m also fine for it to be banned.
The only thing that can go wrong is if the FIA sets too low threshold. But I assume this can be blocked by RB, as only the obvious health and safety issue allows FIA to change rules mid-season without approval of all teams."

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8. Posted by F1nerd, 17/06/2022 10:26

"Seems strange to me that all this has come about after Ham crying over the radio and putting on a great act getting out of has car while Rus appeared to be as fit as a fiddle after the race in the same car."

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9. Posted by kenji, 17/06/2022 9:00

"@ Max...then take into account the earths resonant harmonic frequency measurment. Schumann resonances are the principal background of the electromagnetic spectrum. Eigenfrequencies are supposedly considered easy to calculate, and usually fall between 3/60HZ. You and I Max have a natural frequency of approx 7.5HZ !!! Maybe Hamilton sports a variation to that ...hahaha "

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10. Posted by Max Noble, 17/06/2022 8:25

"@Kenji - quite! I’m surprised they have not talked more about “mis-correlation” between the wind tunnel, the CAD/CFD software, and planet Earth. Problem for them is you cannot model the delights of PP-ing in the alternate worlds. Then to make matters worse the track condition, who you are following, and steering angle, that is altering the angle of attack of the leading edges of the car through corners, all impact it differently! Without considering fuel weight impacts on ride height, atmospheric pressure, and cross winds!
Back in the days of unlimited on track testing this would already have been sorted…"

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11. Posted by kenji, 17/06/2022 8:12

"@ Max To assume that they [Mercedes] don't know precisely at what setting the PP'ing stops beggars belief. They also now know what makes it worse since Baku! Your namesake said what I intimated a short while ago...'It's Fric..ing easy to fix'. Like you, am loving it."

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12. Posted by Mad Matt, 17/06/2022 8:10

"The proof of the pudding... as they say... If those who've got it right aren't effected then at least there's an element of fairness despite, as Max says, the feeling that the goal posts are being tampered with mid game :-)"

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13. Posted by flyinglap, 17/06/2022 6:49

"What a mess! Sir Lewis' acting talent paying dividents, with George Russell in a strong supporting performance under the brilliant guidance of director Toto Wolff, each one and all of them worthy of an Oscar award. Mind you, notwithstanding all their supposed hardship, Mercedes is a solid third in the team standings, with Russell performing consistently and third as well in the drivers standings. It cannot be that bad after all, can it? I am really looking forward to seeing how this latest technical directive effectively plays out. Meanwhile, rumors that it was the doing of the recently appointed Equality, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) Advisor of the FIA remain unconfirmed..."

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14. Posted by Max Noble, 17/06/2022 3:08

"@Kenji - We will find out when the cars start circulating in Canada. I agree mid-season rule changes that use a new metric which (like speed limits on public roads…) has probably been set by a bureaucratic committee with no real understanding of the real world impact of the measurement on behaviour. Miss Physics will cover how the cars reacts, while how the teams now react, and back stab one another, will be the off track delight of the weekend!

With the g limit being set, and one assumes an associated oscillation period over which it is measured, it will be interesting to see which team has a suspension set-up which copes best with this measurement approach.

If, as some think possible, Red Bull are “the most inside the limit” then they will need to adjust the least. Whereas, if Mercedes are “the most over the limit” then they will be forced to dial it down the most.

My “current best guess with available data” is that both Red Bull, and Ferrari will pull further ahead, as Mercedes, and others are forced to adapt the most… we shall see!

Love it! It is like FIFA officials running out mid-match and making the goal wider at one end of the pitch, and narrower at the other. Sure to make one team happy… :-)"

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15. Posted by kenji, 17/06/2022 1:21

"@ Kkiirmki...Under the proposed changes Red Bulls' competetive edge has beeen watered down..no? My limited understanding of this problem was founded on the knowledge that all teams experienced the oscillations but by variating degree. If all teams are forced to comply with a 'standard' set by the FIA then there is no allowance for those currently experiencing minimums and those with maxismum. Ergo, commonality, which dissipates one [ or more ] teams who had got it right , or close to, first time around. "

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