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F1 2022

Horner and Wolff at odds as F1's porpoising debate continues

Christian Horner and Toto Wolff have shared their differing opinions on how to resolve the porpoising issues F1 has faced this season.

Horner Wolff GB
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To news overview © Getty Images/Red Bull Contentpool

Christian Horner and Toto Wolff have given their contrasting thoughts on F1's porpoising debate, and the threat of regulation changes for next season.

In response to the porpoising seen this season, a Technical Directive has been issued which will take effect from the Belgian Grand Prix onwards.

F1 teams may have to make changes to their floor to guarantee passing new deflection tests, and may be forced to raise the ride height of their car if they're judged to be bouncing too much.

However, in the background, discussions are taking place about a permanent solution to the porpoising for next season, including changes to the design regulations.

The biggest clash of opinion surrounds how many regulation changes should be made for the 2023 campaign.

Red Bull, who have profited from this season's new regulations, publicly disagree with an overhaul, whilst Mercedes, who have fallen down the pecking order this season, want to see rule changes.

			© XPB Images
	© XPB Images

Horner challenges Wolff: Lodge a protest

Speaking to Sky Sports F1, Red Bull Team Principal Christian Horner argued that any changes to the technical regulations for next season will be arriving too late in the year.

"It's not so much the directive where there's an issue, I think the problem is what they're looking at as a remedy for next year, because the directive is neither here nor there for us," said Horner.

"I think there's an awful lot of lobbying to change regulations significantly for next year so a certain team can run its car lower and benefit from that concept, which is a very late point in the year to be doing this."

Horner added that he believed the issue would be resolved naturally anyway, and continued his thinly-veiled dig at Mercedes by challenging them to lodge a protest if they have a complaint about their cars.

"We've got some of the most talented engineers in the world in this sport, and I can almost guarantee you that, if we came back next year, there will probably be no cars with issues," he said.

"In the last few races it's looked okay. Here it looks looks okay. I think what you don't want to do is kneejerk into an overreaction that can have fundamental impacts on next year's cars.

"For this season, I've got no issues [with the Technical Directive on floor tests]. If a team were to have an issue with anybody else's car, they should protest it."

Wolff: This is more than just a loophole

Mercedes have been one of the main victims of the bouncing phenomenon in 2022.

This year's Azerbaijan GP saw Lewis Hamilton – along with other drivers – end the race with a sore back, prompting the FIA to investigate the issue.

Team Principal Toto Wolff countered that a regulation change would not automatically make Mercedes a front-runner again, and that the FIA were correct to make changes to the regulations in order to resolve an issue that was "more than a loophole".

"First of all, there is no such thing as a magic bullet, unless you speak of a double diffuser, so that's not going to make a big difference," said Wolff, also speaking to Sky Sports F1.

"They [Red Bull] will probably only need to run the car a little bit higher on the front on the bib [of the floor] than they used to be.

"I think this TD should have been brought into place once it was discovered three races ago, so the argument of 'Is it fair to have brought it into the middle of the season?' 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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