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HomeClassic Car InvestFIA intervenes to limit porpoising in Formula One

FIA intervenes to limit porpoising in Formula One

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Formula One’s governing body has decided to intervene in an attempt to limit the porpoising or bumping of this year’s ground effect cars. The FIA considers the current behaviour of cars a safety and health issue for the drivers.

A two-step approach will be followed, where after an initial few steps, a technical meeting with the teams is set to be held to discuss how to decrease the current problem on the longer term.

“A Technical Directive has been issued to give guidance to the teams about the measures the FIA intends to take to tackle the problem. These include:

1. Closer scrutiny of the planks and skids, both in terms of their design and the observed wear
2. 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 Formula 1 teams have been invited to contribute to this process.”

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.

The FIA 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.”


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