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Max Verstappen

Verstappen reacts to FIA directive addressing porpoising

In a bid to reduce porpoising among the 2022 F1 cars, the FIA has introduced a directive limiting the permitted level of bouncing. But Max Verstappen says it's wrong to bring in a new rule mid-season when some teams have managed the issue more effectively.

Verstappen Baku
To news overview © XPB

Max Verstappen says the FIA made the wrong decision in introducing a technical directive addressing porpoising when several teams have managed the phenomenon effectively.

F1's aero regulations for 2022 mean downforce is predominantly generated by airflow under the car, sucking it down to the ground.

However, a side effect of this is that the car's natural frequency can cause resonance through the chassis, resulting in the car bouncing or 'porpoising' down the straights.

On Thursday afternoon, the FIA confirmed that they had decided, in the interests of safety, to intervene with adjustments that they say should reduce or eliminate porpoising.

This includes creating a threshold for the "acceptable level of vertical oscillations", using a formula that is yet to be determined.

Mercedes have suffered particularly badly with porpoising all season long, and Lewis Hamilton appeared to be in such discomfort after last week's Azerbaijan Grand Prix that he was struggling to get out of his W13.

Mercedes Team Principal Toto Wolff notably suggested after the Baku race that a majority of drivers were in agreement that something needed to be done to reduce the stresses the porpoising was placing on their bodies.

Verstappen points finger at Mercedes

In contrast to Mercedes, Red Bull appear to have managed the issue more comfortably, and championship leader Max Verstappen expressed disappointment at the new directive, and implied that Mercedes' vocal frustrations had influenced the FIA's decision to change the rules.

"I think it's a bit disappointing that again there is a rule change mid-season, I would say," Verstappen told RACER.

"It's not even about affecting us more or less than other teams, but it shouldn't be that one team is complaining a lot and suddenly then they change the regs around it.

"I think there are a lot of teams that actually did an amazing job to not have these kind of issues, so it is possible to drive around it.

"If you raise your car then you won't have these issues, but you lose performance.

"But if you can't design the car properly for that then that's your fault, it's not the regs' fault. For me that is a bit of a shame."

Verstappen: It's a shame to change the rules mid-season

The introduction of a rule limiting the permitted level of porpoising may cause Mercedes pain in the short-term, as the team will likely have to raise the W13's ride height to reduce the bouncing, in turn affecting the car's performance.

However, Verstappen says it's a shame that the creation of such a rule could also affect teams who have managed the porpoising issue more effectively.

"Of course every track is different, too, but I think it's a bit of a shame to change it mid-season and clearly teams have shown you can drive normally, or at least with a lot less issues than some other teams," said Verstappen.

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