FIA takes action to help reduce porpoising for drivers safety

Published on 16 June 2022 at 18:50

The FIA has acted quickly in response to the F1 drivers requesting for the topic to be addressed for the safety of the drivers.


The drivers made it clear during the drivers briefing on Friday that they want the FIA to take action to reduce the porpoising after drivers suffering back and neck pains due to the relentless bouncing at the Azerbaijan Grand Prix.


The team with the most notable level of porpoising was Mercedes, especially with Lewis Hamilton after he reported that he had severe back pains during the Grand Prix and that his seat was cold as the Brit's back was numb due to the relentlessness of the bouncing.



The FIA have now responded to the drivers' request by setting out short and long term solutions for the porpoising issue that has started due to the new ground effect cars.


At the start of the statement, the FIA said: "Following the eighth round of this year’s FIA Formula One World Championship, during which the phenomenon of aerodynamic oscillations (“porpoising”) of the new generation of Formula 1 cars, and the effect of this during and after the race on the physical condition of the drivers was once again visible, the FIA, as the governing body of the sport, has decided that, in the interests of the safety, it is necessary to intervene to require that the teams make the necessary adjustments to reduce or to eliminate this phenomenon."


The governing body are clearly playing it safe as they want to focus highly on the drivers' health over anything else as that is the most important issue to address.


Read another article here: Verstappen explains decision for overtaking at F1 pitlane during Abu Dhabi practice


The FIA also said: “has decided to intervene following consultation with its doctors in the interests of safety of the drivers.

“In a sport where the competitors are routinely driving at speeds in excess of 300km/h, it is considered that all of a driver’s concentration needs to be focused on that task and that excessive fatigue or pain experienced by a driver could have significant consequences should it result in a loss of concentration.

“In addition, the FIA has 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.”

The FIA said that the technical directive had been issued to “give guidance to the teams about the measures the FIA intends to take to tackle the problem.”

The first measure proposed to help with porpoising is “closer scrutiny of the planks and skids, both in terms of their design and the observed wear.”

Secondly there will be “the definition of a metric, based on the car’s vertical acceleration, that will give a quantitative limit for acceptable level of vertical oscillations.

"The exact mathematical formula for this metric is still being analysed by the FIA, and the F1 teams have been invited to contribute to this process.”


The FIA adds: “In addition to these short-term measures, the FIA will convene a technical meeting with the teams in order to define measures that will reduce the propensity of cars to exhibit such phenomena in the medium term.”

Overall, with their being a certain amount of porpoising allowed, teams will now have to reduce their performance to comply with the amount of porpoising allowed or else they will be disqualified!


What are your thoughts on the FIA taking action for drivers safety and who will be the winners and losers of these changes?


By Nathan Hartley (@NathanHartleyF1)




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