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Guenther Steiner

Why Steiner questions the fairness of F1's porpoising rule change

For Haas team boss Guenther Steiner, there are a great many questions that still need answering about the FIA's proposed rule change aimed at combatting porpoising.

Magnussen Baku
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To news overview © XPB

Haas Team Principal Guenther Steiner has waded into the debate over the FIA's technical directive addressing porpoising, questioning the fairness of a rule that may unnecessarily shake up F1's order.

On Thursday afternoon ahead of the Canadian Grand Prix, the FIA confirmed that they had decided to proceed with adjustments that they say should reduce or eliminate the porpoising that has been widely seen since the introduction of new aero regulations in 2022.

An FIA statement noted "concerns in relation to the immediate physical impact on the health of the drivers, a number of whom have reported back pain following recent events", adding that "excessive fatigue or pain experienced by a driver could have significant consequences should it result in a loss of concentration".

Lewis Hamilton was among the drivers who had called for FIA intervention following the Azerbaijan Grand Prix, with the Briton appearing to be struggling with discomfort as he removed himself from his W13 after the race.

Speaking to media including RacingNews365.com, Steiner questioned the fairness of introducing such a fundamental rule change mid-season.

"We need to measure what it is, actually," Steiner said.

"Some of the cars are pretty bad. And there is a solution — just raise the ride height, but then you go slow. Who wants to go slow?"

Steiner: Is it really fair?

Steiner also referenced a similar amendment that affected the pecking order midway through 2013, when Pirelli changed the construction of their tyres after a series of delaminations.

Following that rule change, Red Bull's Sebastian Vettel romped to the title, winning the final nine races of the season after having won only four of the first 10.

"It’s like the middle of the [2013] season when we had the change of tyres," Steiner argued.

"You change something fundamentally, you could change the pecking order completely again. Is that really fair? No.

"[There is] the safety factor, but that could be approached as well — if it is too dangerous, just raise your ride height.

"The measurement with this is to find where it is dangerous, find the limit of something."

Steiner questions policing of new rule

With the FIA's statement acknowledging that the formula for determining the acceptable level of porpoising is still under consideration, Steiner also questioned how such a rule would be implemented and policed.

"Can you imagine if there is a number set after FP2 and somebody doesn’t achieve it in FP3? What do you then, exclude them? Fine them? I don’t know," Steiner continued.

"We measure something, we put a threshold on it, and what we do if someone goes above the threshold I don’t know.

"If you are above this threshold, I don't know what penalty you could give. It's pretty fresh, this thing.

"But let's start with measuring."

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