Mercedes: Red Bull-led rebellion to proposed 2023 floor changes is 'posing'

User Rating: 5 / 5

Star ActiveStar ActiveStar ActiveStar ActiveStar Active

Mercedes says a Red Bull-led rebellion to proposed floor changes for 2023 is just "posing".

A new technical directive is set to be enforced at the Belgian Grand Prix aimed at reducing proposing by implementing a Vertical Oscillation Metric that measures the forces being put onto a driver.

If those forces exceed a certain amount, the FIA could force teams to make setup changes until they comply with the metric.

For next year, however, the FIA is looking to introduce further measures to limit porpoising:

  • Raise the floor edges by 25mm,
  • Raise the diffuser throat under the car
  • More stringent floor flex tests
  • A more accurate sensor to measure oscillations

SI202207230127 news

Last month, however, Red Bull boss Christian Horner claimed designs for 2023 are already too advanced for such rule changes to be made.

“It’s not so much the directive that’s an issue, I think the problem is what they’re looking at as a remedy for next year," he told Sky Sports.

“The directive is neither here nor there for us, but I think there’s an awful lot of lobbying to change regulations significantly for next year.

“A certain team can run its car lower and benefit from that concept. It’s a very late point in the year to be doing it [changing the rules]."

Also Read:

Red Bull's argument has been that teams should be left to solve their own porpoising issues, and at recent races, the phenomenon has rarely been mentioned.

As a result, the safety argument being made to push through the changes by the FIA is not applicable.

“I’d actually dispute it is a safety issue," Horner added. "It’s down to a team how it chooses to operate its car. You can remove the porpoising very easily, but that’s at the sacrifice of performance.

“Therefore, it’s not the duty of the FIA to ensure a team is competitive. Otherwise, we’d have had engine BOP (balance of performance) over the last 10 years.”

Red Bull is thought to be one of six teams pushing for at least a compromise of only a 10mm floor height change, while Ferrari could simply use their veto right to block them altogether.

Wolff Horner

Other team bosses are also stating a decision needs to be made soon as the focus shifts completely to developing next year's cars.

A last resort option by those teams opposing the changes could be legal action, but Mercedes boss Toto Wolff isn't taking that threat seriously.

"You wonder why they are fighting so hard," said the Austrian.

"Because I read in the media that it’s not relevant, it’s not a big change, so why are you fighting [so much] that you’re threatening to go legal?

"No team is ever going to go legal against the FIA, number one. Plus, if the FIA decides to implement something on safety grounds. I'd be watching guys. So I think this is just posing."