Wolff points to FIA medical report: ‘porpoising can cause brain damage’

© Sebastian Kawka for Mercedes-Benz Grand Prix ltd.

Toto Wolff reveals the FIA has “commissioned medical work on the porpoising”, which determined the effect can “lead to brain damage”, so they need “to do something about it”.

The FIA is going to start enforcing its ‘anti-porpoising’ technical directive at the Belgian Grand Prix, under safety grounds.

The governing organization is also planning to introduce some changes into the 2023 regulations, with the intention of eradicating the problem.

In addition, the TD will prevent teams from using illegal ‘flexi-floors’, so some of them are up in arms about this, most notably Red Bull and Ferrari.

Mercedes team boss Toto Wolff says there should be no discussion about this, as it is now clear that porpoising is a serious health hazard for drivers.

“There’s all this talk of lobbying in either direction, but I think fundamentally, what are we talking about?” said the Austrian.

“The FIA has commissioned medical work on the porpoising. The summary of the doctors is that frequency of 1-2Hz, sustained over a few minutes, can lead to brain damage.

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“We have 6-7Hz over several hours. So the answer is very easy: the FIA needs to do something about it.”

Red Bull’s Christian Horner has recently pointed to the fact that the cars were not bouncing as much in the last several races, but Wolff says this doesn’t mean the problem has been solved.

“I still fundamentally believe that there is no choice for the FIA and for us to do something.

“I don’t want to have it in Spa, or at some of the later races where the track is not as smooth as on a conventional racetrack, and we haven’t done anything, and people say: ‘well, now it’s too late.’

“The argument is we haven’t had any porpoising and bouncing in the last few races. But it doesn’t count because Silverstone, Paul Ricard, and Austria aren’t exactly tracks that we bounce at anyway,” Wolff concluded.

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