FERRARI and Mercedes are taking separate views on one key FIA rule change.
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Ferrari are planning to protest new FIA regulations designed to limit the effects of ‘porpoising’, according to reports. Several teams, including Mercedes, had complained that new technical rules brought in during the winter have had a negative impact on performance.
Porpoising – a bouncing effect – has limited the downforce and straight-line speed of some vehicles. Mercedes duo Lewis Hamilton and George Russell had both urged the FIA to introduce new measures to prevent the issue.
The FIA have responded by announcing new regulations for the 2023 season. But that has prompted some teams, including Ferrari and Red Bull, to accuse their rivals of lobbying for rule changes that work in their favour.
Ferrari will reportedly protest against the fresh regulations as team principal Mattia Binotto apparently does not think they are necessary. Binotto and Red Bull chief Christian Horner are strongly against the FIA’s stance.
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Ferrari’s Mattia Binotto is strongly against the FIA’s fresh regulations (Image: GETTY IMAGES)
That is according to Auto, motor und Sport, who claim Ferrari are sceptical about the motives behind the teams asking for the rule change. The likes of Mercedes have complained of their drivers’ safety being compromised, but dissenting voices argue that this issue can already be resolved by adjusting the ride height.
Mercedes have struggled with the impact of porpoising this season, with Hamilton enduring a particularly bad first few months. Their performances have since improved. Hamilton has recorded four-consecutive podium finishes, while Russell has finished in the top five of all but one race in 2022.
The debate has reignited the strong war of words between Red Bull team principal Horner and his Mercedes counterpart, Toto Wolff. Horner, whose team lead the constructors’ and drivers’ world championships, believes it is too late for new rules to be introduced.
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Mercedes duo Lewis Hamilton and George Russell want to limit porpoising (Image: GETTY IMAGES)
He said: “It’s a very late point in the year to be doing this. I think the president’s doing the right thing, he’s collating all the information, and hopefully a sensible solution can be found because it’s too late in the day for fundamental regulation changes, which something like that would be.”
But Wolff has argued that Horner’s view is typical of someone who has not been affected by the problem. The Austrian accused his rival of being ‘bored’ by getting involved.
“Clearly when you’re running in the front you just want to just make sure that nothing changes,” Wolff said. “I think he’s just bored at the front. So good for him.”