The FIA has announced some temporary regulation changes for the Belgium Grand Prix. After lengthy discussions with the teams, the sport’s governing body also revealed what potential technical changes will be implemented to reduce porpoising for the 2023 season.
The return of the phenomenon of porpoising, last seen in the early 1980s before ground effect was banned, has caused several teams to scratch their heads as the problem caused cars to jump violently over bumps in the first half of the season with mid-June’s Azerbaijan Grand Prix causing some drivers such as Lewis Hamilton to suffer health issues because of the ferocity of the porpoising.
To try and tame the porpoising, the FIA announced at the Canadian Grand Prix that there would be a metric to measure porposing with cars going over the overprescribed amount potentially disqualified from the weekend’s race. However, after complaints from the teams, the metric enforcement was pushed back to mid-August’s Belgium Grand Prix, with a stiffening of the plank skids also being introduced for the weekend.
But, the new technical regulations are not considered to be the long-term solution to the problem, with the FIA predicting that next year cars will have more porposing because of an increase in the level of downforce.
Also discussed with the teams were the four aerodynamic measures that the FIA will look to implement for 2023.
“In the spirit of consultation, the FIA discussed a range of aerodynamic measures with the teams and taking into account the views of the teams; the FIA has decided to narrow down the actions it intends to take for 2023 to these steps:”
“1. A 25mm raising of the floor edges 2. A raising of the underfloor diffuser throat 3. The introduction of more stringent lateral floor deflection tests 4. The introduction of a more accurate sensor to help quantify the aerodynamic oscillation. These measures will be submitted to the World Motor Sport Council for consideration and approval shortly as it is vital for the Formula 1 teams to have clarity of the regulations to which to design their cars.”
Both parties also discussed ways of increasing the strength of the rollbar for 2023 after Zhou Guanyu’s horrific crash on the opening lap of the British Grand Prix saw his rollbar break as he hurtled towards the barrier upside down.
“The TAC also discussed the serious incident involving Zhou Guanyu at Silverstone. The teams confirmed their availability to introduce more stringent measures on the roll hoops for 2023, and the FIA undertook to complete the relevant analyses and to communicate to the teams’ new requirements for the safety of the roll hoop.”