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F1 delays porpoising and flexi floor rules to Belgian GP

Formula 1’s planned clampdown on porpoising and flexi floors has been delayed until the Belgian Grand Prix.

Carlos Sainz, Ferrari F1-75, Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing RB18, Sergio Perez, Red Bull Racing RB18, Charles Leclerc, Ferrari F1-75, Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes W13, the rest of the field at the start

Steven Tee / Motorsport Images

The FIA had originally intended to introduce an Aerodynamic Oscillation Metric (AOM) which teams could not exceed for the next race at Paul Ricard.

Part of its plan, which was intended to reduce car bouncing and therefore improve driver safety, also controversially included moves to limit certain tricks teams were believed to be doing with flexi floors.

Amid suspicions that some teams were exploiting regulations that were supposed to mandate a certain stiffness for the under floor and plank, which could make implementation of the AOM unfair on others, the FIA announced its intention to strengthen its flexi tests from the French GP.

The FIA’s plan of action, which had been communicated in a draft technical directive (TD) ahead of the British GP, did not go down well with all the teams on the grid, who argued that it was not within the scope of the FIA to start getting involved in such matters.

Red Bull team boss Christian Horner said at Silverstone: “TDs shouldn't be regulatory changes, there is a governance and a process for that. So I think we just need to talk through exactly why [they have been issued].

"It didn't look like there was a lot of porpoising in this race [the British GP]. So teams are sorting it out. I don't feel it needs the intervention of a TD."

Christian Horner, Team Principal, Red Bull Racing

Christian Horner, Team Principal, Red Bull Racing

Photo by: Mark Sutton / Motorsport Images

The matter was duly brought up in Friday morning’s F1 Commission meeting, and it was agreed that the timetable would be changed for the planned introduction of the new regulations.

A statement from the FIA said: “Following feedback and consultation with the teams and in order to allow the teams to make necessary updates to the plank and skid assemblies, which will ensure a fair application of the metric used to measure this oscillation across all cars, the implementation of the draft Technical Directive issued to the teams prior to the British Grand Prix will come into effect from the Belgian Grand Prix.”

The FIA statement added that the monitoring of car behaviour that began at the Canadian Grand Prix would continue.

It also added: “Several proposed actions to address this issue in the 2023 Technical Regulations were also discussed, with clear directions to be taken to the Technical Advisory Committee.”

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