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Verstappen: Mercedes floor is the most flexible in F1

Max Verstappen does not understand why Mercedes is so happy about Formula 1's flexi-floor clampdown, because he thinks the German car manufacturer is one of the worst offenders.

Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes W13

Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes W13

Drew Gibson / Motorsport Images

As part of the FIA's push to eradicate excessive porpoising from the current generation of cars, it is introducing a raft of new measures from the French Grand Prix.

As well as there being an Aerodynamic Oscillation Metric (AOM) limit that teams will not be allowed to exceed, motor racing's governing body is also looking to restrict flexi-floor tricks.

There have been suspicions that some outfits have found clever ways to get around the current 2mm limit that the underfloors and planks are allowed to flex.

This extra movement can help deliver a big performance benefit as it allows cars to run closer to the ground for improved downforce, without risk of wearing down the plank or triggering porpoising through floor strikes.

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When details about what some teams had been up to emerged at a meeting of F1's Technical Advisory Committee (TAC), several squads expressed surprised.

Mercedes team boss Toto Wolff said: "Nobody had an idea until the FIA brought it up in the last Technical Advisory Committee, which was to a great surprise of all the teams.

"What's in the regulation and what the intent of the regulations is pretty clear. I mean, there's is no argument why that could deflect more than what's in the regs. So a bit of a surprise to say the least: more a shocker."

Mercedes trackside engineering director Andrew Shovlin expressed his belief that the clampdown on flexi-floor tricks would help level the playing field by pegging some other teams back.

"When it came to light, we realised there's opportunities that we've perhaps not been taking or exploiting," he said.

"So it won't affect us in how we run our car. It may well be it affects our competitors, and by virtue of that we move a little bit closer."

But despite Mercedes being so welcoming of the FIA's move, Verstappen has questioned the approach of his rival.

He reckons that Mercedes is the team that has shown itself to have the most flexing floor this season.

Speaking at the Red Bull Ring about Mercedes' support of the flexi-floor changes, Verstappen said: "Well, what I don't quite understand, is that they're complaining about the flexible floors while theirs is the most flexible."

While much of the focus on the flexi-floor tweaks has revolved around Ferrari and Red Bull, both teams insist that they are not going to have to make any changes to their cars as a result of the new flexibility restrictions.

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