Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff says some of their rivals have been using unconventional floor parts in order to comply with Formula 1’s technical regulations.
The skid blocks ordinarily serve the purpose of preventing the car from running too low and causing excessive wear to the legality plank on its underside. If the plank becomes too worn, the car risks being disqualified.
However Wolff claimed “some teams have skids that actually ‘disappear’ when the car hits [with] the bottom” on the track.
“The reason for skids is that they are the limitation of how much plank wear you can have. And if a skid can disappear miraculously into the floor, that is clearly against the regulations.”
Earlier this week the FIA said a technical directive aimed at tightening up the regulations in this area will come into force at the Belgian Grand Prix, one month later than originally planned.
Teams using the special skid blocks have been given more time to change their design “because apparently skid material is not available,” said Wolff.
The teams are also discussing a rules change aimed at preventing the use of flexible planks, Wolff added.
“The second thing is a plank that can deflect or basically moves away more than the tolerance should be,” he said. “The tolerance is one millimetre and even if a plank moves away many more millimetres up into the car, obviously you gain some performance there too.”
The flexible planks are “going to be clarified in next year’s regulations,” said Wolff. “So that is still in discussion to put it all out in the open.”
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