Lando Norris, McLaren, Paul Ricard, 2022

FIA must not “give way” to teams opposing 2023 porpoising rules changes – Seidl

2022 French Grand Prix

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The FIA must not back down in its efforts to reduce ‘porpoising’ by cars in 2023 following opposition from some Formula 1 teams, says McLaren’s Andreas Seidl.

The sport’s governing body announced last week it will revise aspects of next year’s technical regulations in order to lessen the harshness of the ride some drivers have experienced this year. It will follow the introduction of a new technical directive from the Belgian Grand Prix clarifying an area of the floor regulations and setting a limit on the allowed vertical movement of the cars.

The FIA’s plans were criticised by some teams, who claimed the changes are no longer needed as the amount of porpoising or bouncing has lessened in recent races. However the FIA believes it may recur at other tracks later in the year and is likely to increase next season when teams produce new car designs which generate more downforce.

Following complaints from some drivers over the painful bouncing they have experienced, the FIA is introducing its changes on safety grounds. While this is being disputed by some teams, McLaren team principal Andreas Seidl supports the FIA’s stance.

“We are happy with the decisions from the FIA side or the leadership from the FIA’s side regarding that topic,” he told media including RaceFans at Paul Ricard.

“When all this started regarding the TD, the FIA made it clear that it is based on safety. That’s why I think it’s also very important now to follow through and not give way in any direction. So we’re very happy with that.”

Seidl said the team had not been lobbied by its rivals to oppose the rules change. “We are an independent team and we make up our own minds and fight for what we think is correct,” he said.

“We are supportive of the lead here from the FIA. It is still an ongoing discussion, which is also normal. But in the end, I guess we will have clarity soon and then just focus on that, go ahead.”

Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff said he believes the restrictions on floor skid blocks should have come in immediately instead of being postponed to the Belgian Grand Prix.

“I think this TD should have been brought into place once it was discovered three races ago,” he told Sky. “So the argument of ‘is it fair to throw it into the middle of the season’, this is the wrong one.

“It should have been introduced when it was discovered because it’s clearly much more than a loophole.”

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...
Claire Cottingham
Claire has worked in motorsport for much of her career, covering a broad mix of championships including Formula One, Formula E, the BTCC, British...

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17 comments on “FIA must not “give way” to teams opposing 2023 porpoising rules changes – Seidl”

  1. Mercedes have informed me that I drew the short stick and now have to defend the wish list they want the FIA to implement “on safety grounds.”

    – Andreas Seidl

    1. Hehe, indeed.

  2. Seidl couldn’t wait to speak on behalf of Mercedes. Wolff is doing his thing, when his team used to take advantage of the rules and the way they were written : oil burn, trick suspension, DAS then the propaganda narattive driven by the Mercedes PR machine was that “We have did a better job, it’s not our fault if the others did a bad job…”. When other teams are doing the same thing then they must be cheating.

    The FIA were slow to respond and close those loopholes. For example, oil burn trickery took 3 seasons to be properly closed and that was only because Ferrari and Renault to a lesser extent took it to the next level. Ferrari and RBR are either within the rules or outside of the rules. Judging by the sour losers behaviour of the Mercedes F1 team, if there was the slightest doubt about the legality of both cars then a protest might have been already made.

    It’s not about the floor, the skid block or any other particular component. It’s an entire philosophy and the fact that all the components are working in harmony. Ferrari and RBR will still be the cars to beat pace wise after the Beligan GP.

    1. @tifoso1989 Like Red Bull or Ferrari wouldn’t be saying everything Toto is saying if roles were reversed.

      It’s always the same when a top teams slides back a bit behind rivals and see things rivals are doing to get that advantage which they don’t like.

      How much whining did Ferrari & McLaren do a decade ago with the Red Bull wings.

      And Red Bull did plenty of whining and lobbying with engine modes, DAS etc… To try and get things banned to help them close the gap to Mercedes.

      Those acting like what Toto says is somehow something new which nobody else has ever done or would be doing can’t have been watching F1 for long as this is just a normal part of the F1 politics game and has been for decades.

      Colin Chapman seeing his teams dominance and likely easy 1978 championship slipping away when Brabham showed up with the potentially even more dominant fan car and then pushing drivers to claim big stones were been thrown up and it was a super dangerous safety hazard to try and get it banned for example.

      Mercedes come back strong next year you can be sure Horner will be crying to the FIA to get some element of the Merc outlawed. Is just how F1 works.

      1. Yeah – Ferrari and Red Bull would have done exactly the same thing. Lots of Mercedes fans would be screaming about how unfair it would be to change the rules half way through the season and how the FIA are trying to destroy innovation etc….

      2. LyndaMarks,
        The rule in F1 is that if you can’t copy something your rival is doing then the easiest thing to do is to try to get it banned. This is classic Colin Chapman and as you’ve mentioned it has always been the case in F1. The issue with Mercedes is they are fine with this principle as long as they are not the team that will suffer from the ban on something they have developed.

        When rival teams are lobbying against them, they start their virtue signalling and lectures about fairness and justice in the sport and they don’t refrain from denigrating them in public. When rival teams are doing a better job, they are always implying that they are literally cheating. Mercedes with Toto in charge are probably the wokest, most sour losers and toxic team in the history of the sport.

    2. Mercedes makes this sport so hard to watch. They diminish every achievement in the past. Toxicity is their only contribution.

  3. I am fine with any rule changes done for 2023. Every team on equal footing before the season begins, fine, go for it.

    Leave the 2022 rules alone. Any teams that couldn’t sort it out should not get a bailout.

    1. The actual regulation changes been made for this year with the technical directive is more about enforcing the regulations on how much the floor can flex by closing a loop hole.

      The floors shouldn’t be flexing as much as the FIA have seemingly discovered some of them are. That is something that the FIA should act on immediately as if some teams floors are flexing more than allowed then its right that the FIA alter tests and change things to stamp that out.

      Same thing they have done with flexi wings, floors and other bits of bodywork mid-season in the past when such things have been discovered.

      1. The current rules for floor flex only cover the front end of the plank and floor. This is because in prior seasons, that was the area that various teams would intentionally flex the floor for aero gain.
        If there is no rule … how can you realistically be accused of breaking it.? The rule doesn’t exist. How can it be a “Loop-Hole” if there is no rule.? Flexing of the rear most parts of the plank and floor was and still is, for now, unrestricted, within limits that seem to getting defined as time goes on.
        If you can’t or don’t have a rule to measure it, it can’t be managed. Currently they don’t have a measurement rule.
        There may be an intent, whether in print or implied, but that is an “intent” and it is not a rule.
        Even when all this is wrapped up and a few more pages are added to the rule book, will Mercedes be better off or not.? I think not. But rest assured, there will still be sparks flying.

      2. LyndaMarks,

        if some teams floors are flexing more than allowed then its right that the FIA alter tests and change things to stamp that out.

        If there is a written rule that specifies how much a precise part of the floor/plank cannot flex more than a specified threshold and RBR/Ferrari were found to be breaking that rule then it is a slam dank disqualification.

        1. @tifoso1989 @robbie This is from Ross Brawn published in Planet F1 in January this year.

          Formula 1’s technical brains’ trust has found and closed every single loophole that the teams could have found with regards to the 2022 rules.

          With new rules coming into effect this year, Formula 1 adopting ground-effect aerodynamics, Brawn, now F1’s managing director, is determined to ensure that there is a level playing field and one in which none of today’s teams are able to get such a march on their rivals with an unforeseen innovation.

          He also said multiple times last year that he would “close loopholes to achieve a level playing field”. And he would do that race-to-race if necessary. This is what he is doing now, he has determined that Redbull and Ferarri are too far in front and intends to close up the field.
          I do not believe either team are guilty of cheating they just took advantage of the rules as written.
          I and others did say that this type of thing would happen. The continued tightening of the rules and the corraling of the teams to design basically the same car is another step in the direction of a spec series.

    2. @sjaakfoo Yeah and I’m surprised Seidl is speaking of teams opposing 2023 reg changes. That’s news to me. My understanding is that some teams who have less issues if any with porpoising are opposing mid-season reg changes this season, for why should they be punished for doing a proper job. But as to next season I would think the thinking would be amongst the teams bring it (any changes) on as long as we’re all on the same page for the season and we are aware of said changes soon so as to start work on 2023 cars soon.

      1. Rule changes have not the same impact for everyone.
        The fact that Mclaren says this, seems to imply they know their current car can’t be improved for next year and will develop a new one. So want to force others to have pain by disturbing others more linear progress.

  4. @Robbie, teams have already started the design of the 2023 cars based on the current regulations. The proposed changes have such an impact that a redesign would be necessary. That has a huge impact on the money available because of the budget cap. So I agree with the teams that this rule change is too late.

  5. Who lobbie for the engine mode to be scrapped when it doesn’t favour their team?.

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