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F1

F1 warned it must learn from critical errors with new rules

The ground effect regulations have brought a number of issues for teams and drivers to deal with.

Norris Saudi
Article
To news overview © XPBimages

McLaren team principal Andrea Stella has insisted F1 must learn from the mistakes made rolling out the current technical regulations when a new raft of rules are introduced in 2026.

The current cars have seen aerodynamic components moved from the top face of the cars and replaced with a ground effect philosophy to try and promote closer racing by allowing cars to follow better through corners.

But a number of issues have presented themselves since the regulations were introduced, not least the discomfort of excessive bouncing the drivers have had to cope with.

Whilst much less extreme now than in the first year, bouncing still exists and Stella has insisted such unwanted challenges must be eradicated with the next regulation set.

"From a technical and engineering point of view, I think the 2022 regulations surprised with some unintended challenges," Stella told media including RacingNews365.

"We have gone a long way in understanding these challenges and this is the reason why these cars are much more comfortable to drive now, but can still be quite tricky.

"If you take the high-speed sections, they still tend to bounce a little bit, you get a bit of porpoising and the cars can get pretty snappy because of this phenomenon.

"So it is not only the comfort but it is also how much on the edge the car becomes when it starts to get these dynamic oscillations."

'Learning should be taken into account'

Whilst a host of research was conducted before the implementation of the regulations, Stella has pointed to recent technological advancements that will further aid the roll-out of the new-for-2026 cars.

"All this learning should be taken into account when designing the 2026 regulations," added Stella.

"Especially if they are a derivation with smaller cars like they are intended to be but, fundamentally, a derivation of the ground effect cars we are running at the moment.

"It would be inconvenient and an incomplete job if, in 2026, the cars have similar kinds of issues like in 2022 or if we have unintended issues again because we still have the time to study, and even the tools in a few years have further improved.

"We should touch the ground in good shape in 2026 because what happened in 2022 was very challenging and, at times it was uncomfortable for drivers, at times it was extreme and at times it was dangerous because the cars became quite unstable.

"So we definitely need to target being in a better shape and we have the tools now to do that."

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