Max Verstappen, Red Bull, Silverstone, 2022

Horner: FIA’s directive on porpoising risks setting “dangerous” precedent

2022 British Grand Prix

Posted on

| Written by

The FIA’s plan to clamp down on Formula 1 cars porpoising is a “dangerous avenue” for the sport, Red Bull team principal Christian Horner has warned.

The governing body of Formula 1 plans to enforce a new metric from the French Grand Prix which will prevent teams’ cars from porpoising excessively at speed. Any teams whose cars are found to be bouncing too severely will be required to make changes to their set-up to ease the problem.

Horner says the plan risks giving the FIA too much say over how teams may run their cars.

“The metric that it talks about is quite complicated,” he said in an FIA press conference at Silverstone. “That’s a concern about it, and over what period is the measurement taken, individual instances and all that kind of thing.

“I think when you look at it from a purist point of view it’s not ideal because it seems that we’re giving more and more influence to the FIA to dictate what your set-up is. At what point do they say that you have to run this rear wing or ride height? It’s a dangerous avenue to go down.”

Horner said it shouldn’t be necessary to keep the new mechanism in place beyond the end of the season. “I understand on the grounds of safety that this is being introduced because the porpoising on a limited amount of cars is obviously at an extreme level, and they’re looking to have a mechanism to control that.

“But I think that hopefully it’s only something that will be there for this year as it’s something that hopefully all teams will be on top of as I’m sure the cars will converge next year. It’s certainly not a precedent that we want to go down otherwise set-ups will be being dictated by FIA directives.”

Horner pointed out the metric will be difficult to enforce because the harshness of the ride a driver suffers can change if they run wide.

“Obviously, it’s a key performance factor so you can understand why they’re looking at it,” he said. “But of course, the difficulty is if a car runs wide at Copse I’m sure the driver’s backside is getting pretty warm with the amount of wood he’s leaving on the aggressive kerbing there.

“So again it’s something that the regulators are closely looking at that there is no abuse. But again, it has to be subjective.”

Williams CEO Jost Capito is also concerned about the complexity of the new directive. “The proposal is much too complicated and we have to find simpler solutions that still allow the team to work into the set-up and still fulfil the regulations,” he said.

Advert | Become a RaceFans supporter and go ad-free

2022 British Grand Prix

    Browse all 2022 British Grand Prix articles

    Author information

    Keith Collantine
    Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

    Got a potential story, tip or enquiry? Find out more about RaceFans and contact us here.

    13 comments on “Horner: FIA’s directive on porpoising risks setting “dangerous” precedent”

    1. Do we have a date for when these comments were made?

      Is it in any way connected to the other story about the ‘Flexing Floors’. Eg what’s likely to reoccur as an issue when those rules are enforced?

      1. BLS (@brightlampshade)
        3rd July 2022, 13:01

        Article says “FIA press conference at Silverstone”, so I assume on Friday at the team principles press conference.

        1. In that case assuming a connection to the Flexing Floor story, Its likely Horner knows the issue of porpoising is likely to return when the Redbulls are forced to obey the rules on floor stiffness. Horner would sooner his drivers be allowed to drive through the bouncing, than be impeded by the new rules governing what is tollerable.

          1. Do RBs really bounce that much? The slow motions I’ve seen they’ve seen pretty stable in places where others bounce. At the same time, if a more flexible floor is the key to porpoising, why does FIA force stiffer floors to everybody?

            1. My point is once their floor is stiffened to abide by the rules, they may well start bouncing like the rest of the teams abiding by the rules…

            2. PMP, the reason the FIA requires stiffer floors is that the car is not supposed to have any moving aerodynamic parts apart from the DRS mechanism. It is hard enough for the FIA to police the flexing of the wings, and must be even harder to work out how to measure the degree of flex or deformation of the floor, especially when the floors all have different designs and are all hidden from view at the times when flexing is most likely to occur. I would say that the FIA is not changing rules mid-season, but rather trying to find a way to enforce a key concept of the rules, i.e. no moving parts on the bodywork.

          2. They do abide by the rules. The rules are apparently being modified to potentially cause a few teams to reassess. Words matter.

    2. Horner was repeating this rhetoric during Ch4 coverage yesterday. He alluded to it being to help “one car” (the Mercedes) while the live footage being shown as he was interviewed showed the Ferrari bouncing through a corner.

      He’s the worst for wholly being about his own teams interest. Top piranha. I don’t believe a word that comes out of his mouth.

      1. Barry Bens (@barryfromdownunder)
        3rd July 2022, 13:45

        And of course it’s an average Merc-fan who doesn’t understand the difference between bouncing and porpoising.
        Maybe look at your sad team’ boss before you start going on about who’s ‘the worst for wholly being about his own teams interest’, everyone knows Toto is at least twice as bad

        1. Hi from a McLaren fan.

          We’re not all as biased as you.

      2. Coventry Climax
        3rd July 2022, 23:05

        “He’s the worst for wholly being about his own teams interest. Top piranha. I don’t believe a word that comes out of his mouth.”
        That’s funny, as that is exactly how I feel about mr. Wolff.
        I feel mr. Horner has a point. Just like I also thought it a dangerous avenue when the FIA’s came up with an example car. Close to dictating how the teams should design theirs.
        All that is just not the FIA’s job. They should set standards for the maximum frequency and amplitude of the bouncing allowed, and act based on that. If a car exceeds that, then deem it dangerous, and black flag it.
        Nothing else please.
        Time and again the FIA opens up ways for discussion and controversy. That should stop.

    3. I mean, they do tell you what wing to use and set ride height, indirectly. I think the question is something like, should basic design directions be dictated like this. But we’ve already done this with rules on double diffusers, exhaust-blown diffusers, tire design, mass dampers.

    4. Horner confirming that Red Bull have been cheating.

      In other shocking news, the sun will set later today.

    Comments are closed.