The head of the AlphaTauri team, Franz Tost, does not feel much sympathy for the drivers who have been complaining about the porpoise since the beginning of the year, this phenomenon of rebounds has appeared this season with the introduction of the new regulations in F1.
With the introduction of the new regulations, the F22 cars of the 2022 season have become much more rigid than single-seater cars built according to the old regulations, in particular thanks to the larger wheels (now 18 inches) and the configurations of suspension revised. At the same time, the transition to ground-effect aerodynamics has reintroduced the phenomenon of the porpoise well known to the ancients. [des rebonds dans les lignes droites, ndlr] – Some teams also struggle more with this problem than others.
But the most serious consequences of this porpoise phenomenon is that the drivers suffer terribly inside the cars that have become much more rigid than last year, which causes them great back pain, as it goes. being the case of seven-time world champion Lewis. Hamilton, who finished the Azerbaijani Grand Prix, was almost blocked from the back because the pain was intense throughout the race. Faced with this situation and the growing criticism of the drivers, the FIA has decided to react by introducing a technical directive to guide the Formula 1 teams on the measures that the Federation intends to take to solve the problem. These measures include:
- A more detailed examination of the tables and skates (under the car), both in terms of their design and the wear observed
- The definition of a metric based on the vertical acceleration of the car, which will give a quantitative limit to the acceptable level of vertical oscillations. The FIA is still analyzing the exact mathematical formula for this metric and Formula 1 teams have been asked to help with this process.
In addition to these short-term measures, the FIA will convene a technical meeting with the teams to define measures that will reduce the propensity of cars to present such phenomena in the medium term, but it is not yet known when this meeting will take place. will be held.
While most team leaders understand the pilots ’complaints about the porpoise and its effects on their health, team director AlphaTauri was a little less complacent and believes pilots should remember that they go in sports cars and not in a Rolls Royce.
“When the new regulations were created, it was clear from the beginning that these cars would not be easy to drive. Because ? Because this flat bottom, with its Venturi principle, requires cars to be rigidly fitted, with cars close to the ground with a fairly low front and rear body height. » Tost explained in Montreal last weekend.
“At least you’ll gain a lot of performance if the car’s setup is as low as possible. Plus, you also have 18-inch tires, so it’s clear there’s less cushioning of the tires, and so the cars aren’t as good. comfortable to drive as before. ”
“Now the pilots are complaining about that. On the one hand I can understand it, because it is not easy for them, but on the other it is a Formula 1 car. I remember that when the Wing-Cars appeared, a driver came to see me on Sunday evening and told me he had to go to the dentist the next day [à cause des rebonds et vibrations] because cars are very hard to drive and now there is nothing new. Now there are two things; riders need to train their neck and gluteus major muscles, and it certainly helps them. And now the FIA is coming up with this new technical directive, which will of course help discover the magnitude of the forces. »
“When they create these measures, maybe we can find a way to reduce the rebound and the forces on the pilots. How can this be controlled? I still don’t know, but at AlphaTauri we’ll support the FIA. We’ll give them the data and then see what it’s the result, but it’s still a Formula 1 car, it’s not a Rolls Royce and drivers need to be aware of it. the living room, in the chair and then they can race on TV or anywhere else.