(Paris) On Thursday, the International Automobile Federation (FIA) announced immediate measures to reduce “porpoise”, an aerodynamic phenomenon that causes enormous vibrations in Formula 1 single-seaters, in the interest of drivers.
Posted at 1:22 p.m
Three days before the Canadian Grand Prix, Septe Round of the World Championship scheduled for Sunday in Montreal, the FIA wanted to respond to the obvious consequences of this phenomenon linked to the “ground effect” of the new generation of single-seaters released this year on the health and safety of the pilots.
Seven-time world champion Lewis Hamilton, suffering from severe back pain, had the greatest difficulty getting out of his Mercedes last Sunday in Baku after finishing 4the 1st place in the Azerbaijan Grand Prix, which he described at the time as “the most physically difficult race of his career”.
The FIA wants F1 teams to “make the necessary adjustments to reduce or eliminate this phenomenon” (directly linked to the adjustments made to make the new single-seaters more efficient, ed.), she writes in a press release, and a Technical Guideline has been published.
The FIA officials will therefore examine the floors and pontoons of the single-seaters “more closely in terms of design and observed wear and tear,” the FIA specifies. There are also plans to soon set a “quantitative limit for the acceptable level of vertical vibration” for the F1 chassis.
This limit has not yet been defined and the FIA has invited F1 teams to participate in the process. “In addition to these short-term measures, in the medium term the FIA will convene a technical meeting with the teams to define measures aimed at reducing the propensity of cars to generate these types of aerodynamic phenomena.
Finally, the FIA explains that it “has decided to intervene, after consulting its doctors, for the sake of the safety of the drivers”, in a sport in which they “usually drive at more than 300 km/h” and in which their “concentration needs to concentrate on controlling it”, “excessive tiredness or pain” which can lead to “loss of concentration”.
This issue will inevitably be at the heart of debates over the weekend in Montreal, as Red Bull’s drivers, who currently lead the World Championship, appear to suffer less from ‘porpoises’ than Mercedes and other teams.