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FIA confirms that clampdown on bouncing will begin at Spa

NEWS STORY
15/07/2022

The long-awaited metric aimed at reducing the porpoising phenomenon will be trialled in France next weekend ahead of its introduction at Spa-Francorchamps after the summer break.

It was in the aftermath of the Azerbaijan Grand Prix that the sport's governing body finally decided to take action, for while the phenomenon had been evident from the start of the season it was on the streets of Baku where its affects became most evident.

While we had grown used to witnessing the phenomenon and hearing the complaints of the drivers, it was the sight of Lewis Hamilton having difficulty climbing from his car that finally caused the FIA to act.

However, working with the teams, as the FIA sought to find the required Aerodynamic Oscillation Metric by which the bouncing could be measured, the phenomenon seemingly became less of a problem, while some teams argued that such action was penalising those teams who had got it right for the benefit of those that hadn't.

However, following Thursday's meeting of the Technical Advisory Committee, it has been confirmed that the metric will be introduced at Spa as it considers what remains a "significant safety matter".

"It is the responsibility and the prerogative of the FIA to intervene for safety matters," read a brief statement following the meeting, "and the reason the regulations allow such measures to be taken is precisely to allow decisions to be taken without being influenced by the competitive position each team may find themselves in."

Though the metric will be available to the teams next weekend at Paul Ricard, its use will not be mandatory until Belgium, next week merely allowing the teams the opportunity to learn how it affects set-up.

Spa will also witness a technical directive aimed at clamping down on flexing floors and planks.

While the regulations currently allow for a maximum deflection of 2 mm at specified points on the floor and plank, some teams are believed to have discovered a means to have their floors flex by as much as 6mm.

Looking ahead to 2023, floor edges are to be raised by 25mm, along with the raising of the underfloor diffuser throat. Furthermore there will be more stringent lateral floor deflection tests and the introduction of a more accurate sensor to help quantify the aerodynamic oscillation.

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READERS COMMENTS

 

1. Posted by kenji, 19/07/2022 23:23

"@ Spindoctor...The editor's story read Para1..then read para 4. The long awaited 'metric'm seems to be indicated here as one and the same. We now know that Vowles has stated that there is only a subtle difference between the two issues but apparently, like love and marriage, you can't have one without the other, or so it appears. "

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2. Posted by Spindoctor, 18/07/2022 10:32

"@kenji You are indeed wrong.
As I indicated the issues are linked but are not the same.
The flexiplank flexes and so doesn't "bottom" as envisaged in the original drafting of the Regulation (introduced several car generations ago). This means the part that is measured doesn't get worn, but the ride height is lower=more downforce=more grip=faster car. The lack of bottoming also contributes to a reduction in bouncing, but that's secondary, I believe more mechanical factor.

Bouncing\porpoising is an effect which occurs when the car's ground effect aero package stalls momentarily, losing downforce; the ground-effect re-establishes rapidly, this repeats leading to the car oscillating vertically at a moderately high frequency.

The measure intended to combat flexiplank involves examining the nature of the planks & how they are measured.
The measures to combat bouncing involve using sensors to measure the vertical oscillations of the car (& hence driver) with a view to minimising potential injury\accidents

These are two separate changes. "

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3. Posted by Hobgoblin, 18/07/2022 7:40

"@kenji - "how Mercedes have been able to almost entirely eliminate their 'bouncing' so quickly"

They're called engineers. They're quite clever you know."

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4. Posted by kenji, 18/07/2022 0:01

"@ Spindoctor...I was [ apparently wrongly ] under the impression that 'plank wear and bouncing were indelibly linked. Vertical oscillation travel, called 'bouncing', induced excessive plank wear hence the creation of the so called 'flexi plank' and allegations about some teams employing these to offset inreasing the ride height.Could you please outline what the two separate measures will be? I've also looked,unsuccessfully, for further details relative to penalties for infringements of what will be new rules as well as how these anomalies are to be judged. Will teams be penalised for 'design' induced rate of oscillations or distance of oscillaion travel or a combination of both? As for your comment re Mercedes being innocent of any 'hanky panky' can you also give us your thoughts as to how Mercedes have been able to almost entirely eliminate their 'bouncing' so quickly, after being nowhere just a few races ago. and not resorting to the alleged 'hanky panky'?"

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5. Posted by Spindoctor, 17/07/2022 15:14

""Flexiplanks" & plank wear are only indirectly related to bouncing. Two separate measures will be introduced to deal with them.
Some Teams have allegedly used flexiplanks to allow them to run lower without "bottoming" and\or breaking the letter of plank wear rules. As per the previous few articles on this subject FIA's intention is to clarify the Rules & make a new test which accommodates this clarification.
I bow to the superior knowledge of others, but I believe Mercedes aren't\weren't amongst those employing flexiplank.

@Tardis40 - the penalty for excessive bouncing (as defined) will be disqualification from the Race."

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6. Posted by kenji, 16/07/2022 22:57

"@James D....let's wait and see who gets the 'cigar' at the next BAFTA's. Surely he's in line for the Greatest Over Acting Trophy. hahaha"

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7. Posted by Tardis40, 16/07/2022 19:32

"What will the penalty be for excessive "bouncing"?
"

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8. Posted by JamesD, 16/07/2022 16:12

"@Kenji "It has been suggested that the answer to this lies alongside the miraculous cure that Hamilton found for his 'ailing back' post Baku race!"

She's called Angela :)"

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9. Posted by kenji, 16/07/2022 0:09

"Given the intensity of Mercedes whining about the 'porpoising' just a short while ago and their now seemingly sorted situation it remains to be seen whether there was any deeper and more meaningful insight to the whole issue ? Has the level of Mercede's demands to have the FIA sort this out resulted in blowback especially in light of the disclosure that 'some' teams appear to have eliminated the greater levels of bouncing by playing 'catch me if you can' with the plank!! Previously it was categorically stated that the only way to eliminate the problem was to raise the ride height at the expense of downforce so where has the magical cure come from...Hopefully the new tests to be implemented by the FIA will shed some light on this. It has been suggested that the answer to this lies alongside the miraculous cure that Hamilton found for his 'ailing back' post Baku race!"

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