Toto Wolff gives thoughts on FIA’s ‘anti-porpoising’ directive

© Sebastian Kawka for Mercedes-Benz Grand Prix ltd.

Mercedes team boss Toto Wolff reacts to the FIA’s ‘anti-porpoising’ directive, and says “teams have to be protected from themselves”.

On Thursday the FIA outlined their plan to reduce porpoising on the grounds of drivers’ health and safety. Toto Wolff gives his thoughts on the new directive.

“I think sometimes in F1, we need to be protected from ourselves,” the Austrian said.

“Everybody is chasing performance. And like many teams didn’t like the cost cap, and tried to fight against it, or fight regulations they deemed to be counter-productive for their own purposes, now we have a situation that the way the cars have been designed they are ground-effect cars.

“And as ground-effect cars did in the 1980s and 90s, these cars are porpoising. And to a higher or to a lesser degree with some of the teams.

“But as a matter of fact, there is a health issue with the drivers and that’s why we cannot just leave it to the teams to say ‘well, up to you to judge’.”

Wolff says it’s important to firstly think of the health and safety of the drivers.

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“If all of us could have solved it, we would rather solve it then have the situation. I think we all have a responsibility for our drivers.

“This is not an area where teams should push against the change just because they believe they have an advantage to it. It’s a ground-effect problem.

“Some of the teams that are in the front that haven’t had the problem, even their drivers have been vocal in the media such as Sergio [Perez, Red Bull].

“And there is not one single driver out there that hasn’t felt the pain. So this is a health issue. And I see a strong FIA coming in with the necessary steps.

“We can already see drivers that have been pretty vocal about the pain and the blurred vision suddenly are less talkative about it.

“And that shows all teams have to be protected from themselves by regulatory change,” Wolff concluded.

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