After the eighth round in Formula 1, in Baku, during which the phenomenon of aerodynamic oscillations (“porpoising”) of the new generation of Formula 1, and its effect during and after the race on the physical condition of the drivers was visible again, the FIA, as the sport’s governing body, has decided that in the interests of safety, action must be taken to demand that teams make the necessary adjustments to reduce or eliminate this phenomenon.
So it looks like a victory for most drivers against some F1 teams, following the drivers’ briefing last Friday on this.
A technical directive has therefore been issued to guide teams on the steps the FIA intends to take to resolve the issue. These include:
1. A closer examination of the boards and runners, both in terms of their design and the wear observed
2. The definition of a metric, based on the vertical acceleration of the car, which will give a quantitative limit for the acceptable level of vertical oscillations. The exact mathematical formula for this metric is still being analyzed by the FIA, and Formula 1 teams have been asked to help with this process.
“In addition to these short-term measures, the FIA will convene a technical meeting with the teams to define measures that will reduce the propensity of cars to exhibit such phenomena in the medium term,” specifies the FIA
“The FIA has decided to intervene after consultation with its doctors in the interests of driver safety. In a sport where competitors regularly drive at speeds in excess of 300 km/h, the full concentration of a pilot must be focused on this task and that excessive fatigue or pain experienced by a pilot could have significant consequences if it leads to a loss of concentration.
“In addition, the FIA is concerned about the immediate physical impact on the health of the drivers, a number of whom have reported back pain following recent events.”
For his part, Toto Wolff revealed that his pilots sometimes suffered “a 6G vertical force, which affects not only the muscles but also the bones, especially the back”. It remains to be seen what maximum force will be tolerated by the FIA in setting up its metric.