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FIA plans more talks with F1 teams after ‘porpoise’ dispute at Canadian GP | Formula One

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The FIA ​​will meet with the teams this week in an attempt to defuse the controversy caused by its intervention in the regulations that cast a shadow over the Canadian Grand Prix. F1’s governing body had tried to address problems with cars bouncing around the track this season, amid fears for driver safety, but its efforts simply caused friction in the paddock.

Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff said the FIA ​​had to act given its responsibility for driver safety, but his Red Bull counterpart Christian Horner accused Mercedes of having designed a car that exacerbated the problem of drivers. bounces and that they should fix it instead of doing it. wait for a regulation change.

Red Bull’s Max Verstappen won in Montreal, extending his lead over Sergio Perez, who did not finish, to 46 points and over third-placed Charles Leclerc to 49 points. Mercedes took third and fourth with Lewis Hamilton and George Russell and the team was pleased with their improved performance.

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The Mercedes car has been particularly affected by the porpoise and ricochet problems that are a consequence of this season’s new regulations. Porpoise is a violent vertical jerk caused by the gain and loss of downforce from ground effect aerodynamics under the car. Most teams, including Mercedes, think they have this figured out now. But the bouncing of drivers in the cockpit remains for many teams. It’s a factor that the cars have very stiff suspension and low ride heights are required to maximize aerodynamic ground effect.

In Monaco and Baku, on bumpy tracks, the rebound was very strong, raising questions about the drivers’ safety, including the risk of microconcussions and whether they could safely see the braking zones.

The Thursday before the Canadian GP, ​​the FIA ​​issued a technical directive stating that it would address the matter and try to find a solution. It also allowed certain changes to be made in Montreal to try to alleviate it. This proved controversial with some teams objecting to what they saw as a rule change without consultation.

After a heated team principals’ meeting on Saturday, Wolff described the political maneuvering by some teams around the issue, which he sees as a safety issue, as “regrettable” and “untrue”.

No satisfactory conclusion was reached so Nikolas Tombazis, the FIA’s single-seater technical director, will now meet with the teams’ technical directors this week to try to reach a consensus on how to move forward before the next round, the British Grand Prix at Silverstone. .

The issue remains highly tense, with Mercedes accused of making its drivers exaggerate how uncomfortable they were in the car in order to speed up a rule change. Wolff, however, noted that it was a pervasive problem across teams and was concerned that opposition to addressing it was short-sighted. “The political maneuvering that has been going on doesn’t address what the core of this issue is,” he said.

“The core of this issue is that, since the beginning of the season, drivers have been complaining of pain driving these cars. Back pain, blurred vision, we’re talking about micro concussions and people giving their opinion on literally every team. This is something we need to address: whatever the solution is and what can technically be implemented to go in that direction.

“We have to be aware that it’s not about cutting a forward that is an advantage for a team, or a double diffuser. It’s that all of us, team managers and teams, have a responsibility not to take this lightly.”

Unsurprisingly, Red Bull, which leads both the drivers’ and constructors’ championships and has a car free of porpoises and most rebound problems, are reluctant to agree to rule changes they believe are necessary just because of the glitches. from other teams.

“The problem with Mercedes is more serious than with any other car,” said Horner. “That surely depends on the team. That is under your control to deal with it, if it is not affecting others. We have not had any problem with the rebound. The problem is that they are driving their car so stiff. I think his concept is the problem more than the regulation.”

This article was modified on June 21, 2022. An earlier version incorrectly stated that Sergio Pérez finished second in Montreal, but he did not finish.

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