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Mercedes respond to Red Bull lobbying claim

Mercedes respond to Red Bull lobbying claim

Mercedes respond to Red Bull lobbying claim

Mercedes respond to Red Bull lobbying claim

Andrew Shovlin has claimed Mercedes has 'no certainty' a regulation change would benefit the team after being accused of lobbying the FIA by Red Bull.

F1's governing body will implement a technical directive at the Belgian Grand Prix aimed at combating the porpoising phenomenon this season, but also after some teams exploited the regulations by flexing around the floor skids.

To close this loophole completely, the FIA is considering a change to the rules for next season that would see the floor edge and the diffuser throat raised by 25mm.

The changes are being applied by the FIA on safety grounds, however, Red Bull team principal Christian Horner has suggested the real reason is to assist Mercedes in fixing its porpoising/bouncing problems.

Asked if it is possible to keep inter-team politics out of the discussion, Mercedes' trackside engineering director Shovlin explained: "It's difficult.

"The reality is we are working to solve our problems on our own and I think we have made good progress on that.

"You can understand the conundrum of teams that don't want the regulations to change. [But] we don't know that a regulation change would suit us.

"If you think back to 2020 into 2021, we didn't know that that regulation change was going to hurt a low ride-height car like ours and barely affect a high ride-height car.

"So we're certainly not of a position of saying regulation changes are definitely going to be in favour of Mercedes.

"Our stance would be that if we want to solve some of the fundamental issues, you're not going to do that by leaving the rules alone.

"But when that rule came in during 2020 on safety grounds, Red Bull weren't opposing it, Ferrari weren't opposing that from a viewpoint of the governance but importantly, Mercedes weren't opposing that change.

"It happened. It didn't suit us but it did come in and it happened."

Shovlin makes safety case

The topic of the change to the floors has divided the paddock but Shovlin suggested the numbers being mentioned at present are the result of proactive teams opting to go early with a compromise.

"Some teams wanted change, some wanted no change and I think the compromise was just coming from teams that thought there will be a change but we want it to be as minimal as possible," he explained.

"But as we have said, as teams - we can probably all mitigate this - but if we actually want to get the cars running in a different way, these regulations will always have a car that wants to run very flat on the road and there have been a few notable accidents this year where the car has bottomed on the plank.

"As part of that, the driver loses control, goes over a kerb and it has been the car hitting the ground that has actually caused them to land in the barrier at speed.

"The safety argument is as much about that as the comfort."

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