RACING

Security “a card very easy to defend” in the F1 floor change row

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In an effort to curb the porpoising problem facing a number of teams at the start of this season under the new technical regulations, the FIA ​​announced ahead of the French Grand Prix that it would be changing the rules for the next year for security reasons.

This included raising the edges of the floor by 25mm, as well as introducing tighter floor controls, but it has been pushed back by a number of teams who may seek to challenge the FIA.

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Red Bull has expressed its opposition to any rule changes throughout this year, saying teams that haven’t encountered porpoising shouldn’t pay the price for others that have had a harder time.

Asked by Motorsport.com after Sunday’s French Grand Prix how he thought the saga would be resolved, Horner called on F1 decision-makers to “just follow the normal process”.

“Again, I didn’t see any problem here [in France]”Said Horner. “I think the last three or four races you really haven’t seen any problems.

“So I think there just has to be a common sense solution, not to rewrite the regulations for next year at some point in the year, with budget caps where they are, which is just too late.

“I think it’s actually an even bigger problem for some of the smaller teams, who just wouldn’t have the resources to be able to react.

“I think whatever action is taken, it just has to be sensible.”

Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes W13, Sergio Perez, Red Bull Racing RB18

Photo by: Alastair Staley / Motorsport Images

Horner claimed earlier in the race weekend that lobbying for floor changes was all to help a “certain team”, referring to Mercedes, which had a harder time than most bouncing back on its car.

Mercedes denied that is the case, saying adjustments to the ground are not guaranteed to improve its form.

According to FIA technical regulations, safety changes can be made without team support “without notice or delay”, but a number of teams doubt this is a genuine safety issue.

“I would actually dispute that it’s a safety issue,” Horner said Sunday. “It’s up to a team to decide how they choose to use their car. You can remove porpoising very easily, but it’s at the expense of performance.

“Therefore, it is not the duty of the FIA ​​to ensure that a team is competitive. Otherwise, we would have had the BOP engine [balance of performance] over the past 10 years.

Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing RB18

Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing RB18

Photo by: Carl Bingham / Motorsport Images

Horner acknowledged that part of the problem was that there was no definition of what constitutes a safety issue under FIA regulations, and said safety was “a very easy card to defend “.

“Because theoretically it’s not then the subject of a World Board committee or vote,” Horner said.

“I think something can be done, but I think it just has to make sense. The figures that have been discussed are simply too extreme compared to the reality of what could possibly be done. »

He added that F1 needed to be careful to avoid “overreacting to a few samples at a few spot circuits” and that he was confident teams would converge to handle the problem over the winter anyway without them. proposed changes.

Although there is a divide between the teams in the row, all have stressed the need for a quick resolution as they begin to consider the impact of any rule changes on their 2023 cars.

Horner thought the smaller teams opposing the changes were “even more excited than us” and would have “a bigger voice on this than me.”

“It’s too late to redesign a car for next year,” said Horner. “If they’re talking about the 25mm lift in floor height, that’s a completely different aero package.”

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