Red Bull team principal Christian Horner has warned that Formula 1 floor regulations being mooted by the FIA for 2023 could lead to teams “chasing wacky aero concepts”.
Horner has criticized the planned changes since the FIA announced its intention to introduce a set of four measures designed to completely eliminate the problem of porpoising and grounding in 2023 after a meeting of the F1 Technical Advisory Committee at the start of the month.
The measures include raising the edges of the floor by 25mm, raising the diffuser throat under the floor, introducing stricter lateral floor deflection tests and adopting a more accurate sensor to monitor vertical oscillations.
Horner criticized the potential implications of the change, as well as questioned the cost implications, and also suggested the timing was too late – describing it as “10:00 midnight” given that 2023 design work is already underway. well advanced.
“Nobody wants to end up in a legal challenge, it just takes a bit of common sense and a bit of compromise,” Horner said when asked about the 2023 changes and the threat of teams launching legal challenges. judicial.
“The problem is in the current regulations, you have different amounts of time available depending on your position in the championship.
“And at that late call today – we’re at 10:10 a.m. for next year – you’re looking at a fundamental change that can have significant consequences.
“There is an appetite, hopefully, for a reasonable compromise. It’s not just about increasing floor height or throat height, which can impact what components you even want to achieve next year.
“There are other tests regarding increasing the load test on the leading edge of the floor, for example.
“We don’t want to get into an aeroelastic race that as the height of the ground is raised, elasticity becomes the flavor of the day and we all end up chasing wacky aeroelastic concepts.
“It is therefore important that the whole package is treated as a whole rather than choosing single elements.”
It should be noted that there have been suggestions that some teams have capitalized on such aeroelasticity in their designs, particularly with regard to the short-term changes to board regulations that will come into effect at the Belgian Grand Prix. next month following the suspicions of some teams. do this to allow their cars to drive lower.
In this case, aeroelastic characteristics could be applied to allow the edges of the ground to drop at high speeds, which the FIA is trying to address with load test changes. However, it is impossible to test the full range of conditions an F1 car will encounter on the track.
But while Red Bull has strongly criticized the changes and questioned the legitimacy of the FIA’s argument that the 2023 decision is for safety reasons to allow it to pass without a vote, the warnings about timing are prevalent.
Horner made his comments during the FIA press conference ahead of free practice on Saturday at the Hungaroring. Mike Krack and Andreas Seidl, team principals of Aston Martin and McLaren respectively, were with him and supported this aspect of his argument.
However, both teams have made it clear that they are happy with the changes, so their position can be interpreted as saying not that it is too late to make the changes, but that the FIA should pursue this course of action as intended.
“I don’t think there will be any legal battles between the parties, I think we’ll find a solution like we’ve been doing with a lot of things lately,” Krack said.
“But as Christian rightly said, it’s ten past twelve and we really need to move on.”
Seidl said that “it is clear that time is critical, but I am sure we will find a solution in the next few weeks”.