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FIA explain why now with F1 porpoising fix

FIA explain why now with F1 porpoising fix

F1 News

FIA explain why now with F1 porpoising fix

FIA explain why now with F1 porpoising fix

Head of single-seater technical matters Nikolas Tombazis has explained why the FIA had no choice but to act to limit porpoising.

A long-awaited technical directive was finally put into action at the weekend's Belgian Grand Prix, with additional regulation changes confirmed for next year to further limit porpoising also recently announced.

These proposed changes caused a stir in the F1 paddock with a split between those that believe this will only aid teams not already on top of the phenomenon and those that back the FIA's reasoning of safety.

"We had concerns about the safety and about the long-term effects of porpoising which is why we felt compelled to make some amendments," said Tombazis.

"And it has to be said that safety is one of the topics that fall squarely into the FIA's prerogative because it cannot be clouded by competitive positions and so on.

"I have been on the other side of the fence when you are in a team and the only thing you care about there, obviously, you care about safety, but the only other worry is your competitive position.

"The championship fight is so intense that this is all that prevails and that is why it cannot fall into the normal process in order to make these changes.

"So, the TD and some minor rule changes introduced for Spa effectively introduce the measurement of the porpoising and a stiffer underside of the car in order to have parity across the grid.

"And then there has been, following a lot of negotiations and even the [FIA] president getting involved very closely with this topic, discussing it with all the teams and all the drivers, and we have made some compromises and amendments for next year."

FIA deny 'over-the-top' response

The majority of teams appear to have porpoising under control with even Mercedes, the team that had suffered the most, considerably reducing its difficulties.

Asked to respond to suggestions the FIA had "gone over the top" with its reaction, Tombazis added: "First of all, there were even some examples of porpoising on Friday [in practice].

"We have seen that generally speaking, with the increase of performance, there is also a tendency to increase that phenomenon while, at the same time, teams are learning more about it and they can control it better.

"We have to act responsibly in the sport. We see examples of other sports that have ignored the long-term effects of certain conditions that they subject their sportsmen under, so we felt we had to take the long-term view on this.

"These regulations will continue until 2025 inclusive before we go to new regulations for 2026 and we felt it was better to act early than to be here discussing the same thing in one year's time and so on.

"So, it was a combination of all of these factors, plus, we did compromise - the president got heavily involved in this compromise and I think we came up with the right solution in the end.

"But no doubt that some people on one side of the argument will say it was too much and other people will say it was too little, that is normal."

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