F1 teams have "little freedom" outside windtunnel for porpoising fixes

Formula 1 teams will find fixes to porpoising in the windtunnel, and consequences could be "tragic" if remedies aren't accessed quickly, says ex-F1 aerodynamicist Jean-Claude Migeot.

F1 teams have "little freedom" outside windtunnel for porpoising fixes

The reintroduction of ground effect-style aerodynamics for the 2022 season has resulted in the return of a phenomenon known as porpoising, at which the heave movement of the car is excited by the oncoming airflow and causes up-and-down oscillations in the car.

This was a problem for F1 cars back in the early 1980s when ground-effect aerodynamics were last permitted, and has also been seen in other categories - particularly at Le Mans - at high speeds.

Migeot, formerly the aerodynamicist in charge at Tyrrell during the design of its innovative 019 car and involved in the aero development of cars across multiple categories, has said that F1's limited suspension options means that the teams will have to focus their research on finding a solution to porpoising within their aerodynamic development.

"The remedies on the mechanical side, knowing that active suspension is forbidden the number of things that are not there, you are left with very little freedom or parameters to play with," Migeot told Autosport.

"You cannot ignore the optimisation of the static forces that put the car in the best position for whatever corner you choose. That is strategic.

"On the suspension side, unless you're making some invention - like at the time of the skirts, an inerter could be there and maybe that can help, but it's forbidden again.

"So that solution is in the windtunnel. The solution is looking at these forces and optimising them together with static forces.

"I'm afraid this will take time, because we've just seen the tip of the iceberg in Barcelona."

Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing RB18

Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing RB18

Photo by: Mark Sutton / Motorsport Images

Migeot explained that the cause of porpoising was not in a cyclical stall function, but down to the aerodynamic forces within the underbody at high speed inducing movement in the car close to its natural heave frequency.

PLUS: The mechanics behind porpoising in F1 - and how to fix it

He added that, if teams cannot find a solution to porpoising, the F1 field's visit to bumpier circuits could result in "tragic" consequences if the FIA does not react.

"It's going to be tragic on a bumpy track, and it's going to be tragic in racing, because when you're hard braking for overtaking you're going to excite this phenomenon a lot," he said.

"So we're maybe going to see very bad things. I think the FIA will react before that. If nobody has time to find the best solution, the FIA will have to react.

"I hope to be wrong, of course, because it will be a nasty surprise.

Read Also:

"They have relied a lot on the downforce from the underbody, they get rid of the step almost completely.

"That may have been the reason of all that. But if they add that back, the downforce is going to fall so we're going to have to face very slow cars, which is not good, but maybe less worse for the moment."

shares
comments

Related video

Finding the greatest number two drivers in F1 history
Previous article

Finding the greatest number two drivers in F1 history

Next article

Hamilton: I’m the freshest I’ve ever felt ahead of new F1 season

Hamilton: I’m the freshest I’ve ever felt ahead of new F1 season
The crucial tech changes F1 teams must adapt to in 2023 Plus

The crucial tech changes F1 teams must adapt to in 2023

Changes to the regulations for season two of Formula 1's ground-effects era aim to smooth out last year’s troubles and shut down loopholes. But what areas have been targeted, and what impact will this have?

Are these the 50 quickest drivers in F1 history? Plus

Are these the 50 quickest drivers in F1 history?

Who are the quickest drivers in Formula 1 history? LUKE SMITH asked a jury of experienced and international panel of experts and F1 insiders. Some of them have worked closely with F1’s fastest-ever drivers – so who better to vote on our all-time top 50? We’re talking all-out speed here rather than size of trophy cabinet, so the results may surprise you…

Formula 1
Jan 25, 2023
One easy way the FIA could instantly improve F1 Plus

One easy way the FIA could instantly improve F1

OPINION: During what is traditionally a very quiet time of year in the Formula 1 news cycle, FIA president Mohammed Ben Sulayem has been generating headlines. He’s been commenting on massive topics in a championship that loves them, but also addressing necessary smaller changes too. Here we suggest a further refinement that would be a big boon to fans

Formula 1
Jan 24, 2023
How can McLaren keep hold of Norris? Plus

How can McLaren keep hold of Norris?

Lando Norris is no longer the young cheeky-chappy at McLaren; he’s now the established ace. And F1's big guns will come calling if the team can’t give him a competitive car. Here's what the team needs to do to retain its prize asset

Formula 1
Jan 24, 2023
What difference did F1's fastest pitstops of 2022 make? Plus

What difference did F1's fastest pitstops of 2022 make?

While a quick pitstop can make all the difference to the outcome of a Formula 1 race, most team managers say consistency is more important than pure speed. MATT KEW analyses the fastest pitstops from last season to see which ones – if any – made a genuine impact

Formula 1
Jan 23, 2023
When F1 ‘holiday’ races kept drivers busy through the winter Plus

When F1 ‘holiday’ races kept drivers busy through the winter

Modern Formula 1 fans have grown accustomed to a lull in racing during winter in the northern hemisphere. But, as MAURICE HAMILTON explains, there was a time when teams headed south of the equator rather than bunkering down in the factory. And why not? There was fun to be had, money to be made and reputations to forge…

Formula 1
Jan 20, 2023
What Porsche social media frenzy says about F1’s manufacturer allure Plus

What Porsche social media frenzy says about F1’s manufacturer allure

Porsche whipped up a frenzy thanks to a cryptic social media post last week and, although it turned out to be a false alarm, it also highlighted why manufacturers remain such an important element in terms of the attraction that they bring to F1. It is little wonder that several other manufacturers are bidding for a slice of the action

Formula 1
Jan 19, 2023
Why the new Williams boss shouldn’t avoid ‘Mercedes B-team’ comparisons Plus

Why the new Williams boss shouldn’t avoid ‘Mercedes B-team’ comparisons

OPINION: Williams has moved to replace the departed Jost Capito by appointing former Mercedes chief strategist James Vowles as its new team principal. But while he has sought to play down the idea of moulding his new squad into a vision of his old one, some overlap is only to be expected and perhaps shouldn't be shied away from

Formula 1
Jan 17, 2023