F1’s move to ground effect cars as part of its radical overhaul of its technical regulations for 2022 has seen the return of vertical oscillation – or porpoising – in a straight line.
The rebound caused problems for a number of teams – mainly Mercedes – sparking calls for changes on safety grounds, leading to a months-long standoff between the teams over the issue.
Having already been discussed by the WMSC, these changes have now been approved.
As previously reported, starting with the Belgian Grand Prix at the end of the month, the FIA will be monitoring the phenomenon and introducing changes to the stiffness requirements of the board and subfloor pads.
And from 2023, the edges of the car floorboards will be raised by 15mm, while the height of the diffuser throat will also be raised and its edges stiffened.
The FIA will also require an additional sensor to be run on the ground to monitor porpoising, while the governing body says the ground changes will be implemented in a way that should “avoid any impact on component design mechanics by the teams”.
Zhou Guanyu and Alfa Romeo C42 crash at the start of the race
Photo by: JEP / Motorsport Images
Changes to the roll bars on the cars for next year will also be introduced as a direct result of Alfa Romeo driver Zhou Guanyu’s massive accident at the British GP.
Zhou’s car was flipped following contact between George Russell and Pierre Gasly at the start of the Silverstone race, with the Chinese driver’s Alfa Romeo sliding upside down until it jumped the barrier of tires and lands in front of the catch fence.
After an investigation into Zhou’s hoop failure during the incident, the FIA has ratified the changes for 2023.
Changes will be needed to the top of the roll bar design, which is intended to reduce the chances of it digging into the ground in a similar incident, as was the case with Zhou’s car.
The minimum height for the point at which the homologation test is applied will also be established, while there will be a new homologation test to better test the poles against adverse loads.
It is hoped that for 2024 the approval tests for roll bars will be reviewed to further improve the safety of the part.