Christian Horner accuses Mercedes and the FIA of foul play

© LAT Images for Mercedes-Benz Grand Prix Ltd

Red Bull team boss Christian Horner has implied that Mercedes has known about the FIA’s ‘anti-porpoising’ technical directive ahead of everyone else.

The issues around the 2022 F1 cars bouncing has been a hot topic around the paddock for the past few weeks. After the FIA introduced a technical directive aimed at stopping the phenomenon, the debate has become very heated.

Red Bull team boss Christian Horner says the bouncing is not an issue for all teams, but is actually heavily affecting only Mercedes.

“The issue with Mercedes is more severe, or certainly has been prior to [the Canadian Grand Prix] than any other car,” the Briton said.

“That surely is down to the team. That’s within their control to deal with that, if it’s not affecting others.

“I know it was said other drivers have been complaining. Our drivers have never complained ever about porpoising. They’ve said certain circuits could do with tidying up, perhaps resurfacing in places.

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“But we haven’t had an issue with bouncing. The problem is they’re running their car so stiff. I think their concept is the issue rather than the regulation.”

Ahead of the Canadian Grand Prix, the FIA announced it would allow teams to put a second stay on their cars to prevent it from bouncing in the short term, and Mercedes was the only team to have it ready on Friday, just a day after the FIA’s announcement has been made.

Horner openly implies that there was foul play at work on the part of Mercedes and the FIA.

“There is a process of these things to be introduced. I think what was particularly disappointing was the second stay.

“It has to be discussed in a technical forum, and that is overtly bias to sorting one team’s problems out – which were the only team that turned up here with it, even in advance of the TD.

“So work that one out.”

Horner adds he doesn’t believe the bouncing will be a problem next year, even if the rules are left as they are.

“You’ve got some of the brightest engineering talent in the world, and things will converge. I doubt we’ll be sitting here next year talking about the bouncing, even if the regulations are left alone.

“These cars are still relatively new, I think as teams add developments to their cars, you’ll probably start to see them start to address some of these issues.

“And you can’t just suddenly change technical regulations halfway through a season. If a car is dangerous, a team shouldn’t field it: it has that choice.

“Or the FIA, if they feel an individual car is dangerous, they always have a black flag at their disposal,” Horner concluded.

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