Mercedes is shocked by revelation that rivals might be breaking rules

© Steve Etherington for Mercedes-Benz Grand Prix Ltd.

Toto Wolff says Mercedes is shocked after the FIA suggested some teams might be breaking floor flexibility rules in an effort to prevent porpoising.

At a recent Technical Advisory Committee meeting the FIA revealed that some teams may have been exploiting the flexibility of their car’s floor, breaking the rules in the process.

According to the regulations, only 2 mm of flexing is permitted across a specific area of the floor and plank, and the FIA says that some teams have been pushing it up to 6 mm.

Mercedes has been strictly adhering to the rules, so this revelation came as a shock to them.

“Nobody had an idea until the FIA brought it up in the last Technical Advisory Committee,” team boss Toto Wolff said.

“Which was to a great surprise of all the teams because what’s in the regulations, and what was the intent of the regulations, is pretty clear.

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“There is no argument why that could deflect more than what’s in the regs. A bit of a surprise to say the least – more of a shocker,” he concluded.

Trackside Engineering Director Andrew Shovlin says this revelation will not help Mercedes’ performance, but it could slow down those who have been using ‘flexi-floors’.

“When it came to light, we realised there are opportunities we’ve perhaps not been taking or exploiting,” Shovlin said.

“So it won’t affect us in how we run our car, [but] it may well be it affects our competitors and by virtue of that we move a bit closer,” the Briton concluded.

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