The FIA ratifies 2022 and 2023 ‘anti-porpoising’ rule changes

© Jiri Krenek for Mercedes-Benz Grand Prix Ltd.

The World Motor Sport Council has approved changes to the 2022 and 2023 F1 Technical Regulations to address the matter of porpoising.

The FIA provided a summary of the issue and the associated regulatory updates to address them:

The phenomenon of vertical oscillations (“aerodynamic porpoising”), combined with low ride heights and minimal rake have been a noted characteristic of the new generation of Formula 1 cars, introduced in 2022, and has been discussed several times in the Technical Advisory Committee meetings. The appearance of this phenomenon raised concerns about safety and the health and wellbeing of the drivers.

While the effect of this phenomenon has been less pronounced on some recent circuits, the FIA believes that its occurrence, and the associated safety issues, will remain and potentially become even worse in the future.

The FIA has consulted extensively with the teams and has come to a final position as follows:

From the Belgian Grand Prix, the FIA will be measuring the phenomenon and expecting teams to operate below a certain threshold in order for their car to be considered safe. In addition, the following measures are approved for 2022 and 2023:

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2022 Formula 1 Technical Regulations

  • Central Floor Flexibility – changes to re-define the stiffness requirements of plank and skids around the thickness measurement holes.

2023 Formula 1 Technical Regulations

  • The floor edges will be raised by 15mm.
  • The Diffuser throat height will be raised, while care has been taken to avoid any impact on the teams’ designs of the mechanical components.
  • The diffuser edge stiffness will be increased.
  • An additional sensor will be mandated to monitor the phenomenon more effectively.

While some teams, like Ferrari and Red Bull, have been against making any changes, FIA president Mohammed Ben Sulayem has explained why the FIA had no choice but to act on the issue.

“Safety is absolutely the highest priority for the FIA, and we have devoted significant time and resources to the analysis and resolution of the issue of porpoising,” Ben Sulayem said.

“I have personally discussed this matter with all of the teams and drivers, and while of course there are some differences in opinion owing to varying competitive positions, it is very clear that the FIA has a duty to act and ensure that the drivers are not put at undue risk of injury as a result of this phenomenon,” he concluded.

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