All happy and … discontented. This is the summary of the agreement that the FIA has reached with the teams on the technical rules and regulation for the 2023 Formula One season: the FIA World Motor Sport Council will vote today on the decisions that are the result of a long push and pull with the teams on the anti-porpoising rules, after the FIA decided to intervene on next year’s rules by invoking safety reasons.
The proposal brought by Nikolas Tombazis after the Canadian GP was to raise the floor by 25 mm, also raising the diffuser. The measure was taken alongside by the introduction of a vertical bulkhead in the diffuser that would have helped to limit the phenomenon which causes the cars to bounce.
Ferrari and Red Bull got in the way and then a total of six teams wrote to the president of the FIA, Ben Sulayem, believing that the measure taken at this stage of the season would have forced many teams to review the 2023 projects that are already in work, preventing some teams from maintaining this year’s chassis also for the next championship. The counter-proposal was to raise the single-seaters by only 10 mm.
The president’s mediation led to a compromise that does not satisfy anyone: the sides will be raised by 15 mm, while the floor will be raised by 10 mm where the rear diffuser begins, while it seems that the vertical bulkhead in the diffuser has not been deliberated.
In short, a compromise was sought in an attempt to save goat and cabbage as proof that the measure was not dictated by safety requirements, otherwise it would have been approved entirely in its original version.
We await to see the press release from the FIA that will formalize the approved measures, but the feeling is that Ben Sulayem did not want to clash with the teams, perhaps promising to make a second intervention in view of 2024 after the experience that will have emerged with the new cars.
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The controversy that had heated up the first phase of the summer, when the FIA provision was branded as an attempt to put Mercedes back into play, penalizing Ferrari and Red Bull who better than others had solved the issue of bouncing, should be dampened.
Having seen George Russell’s Mercedes W13 in pole position in Hungary and then in second and third place on the podium in Budapest close to Max Verstappen’s Red Bull, perhaps removed some elements of controversy that made it possible to find a basis for agreement towards a compromise in which no one wins …