Following the Technical Advisory Committee after the Canadian Grand Prix, the FIA has issued an update for the much talked about recent technical directive, in order to explain the next steps it wants to take in an attempt to improve two key negative characteristics of the 2022 ground effect cars: the aerodynamic bouncing (porpoising) and driving difficulties deriving from cars that use very rigid structures and which generate annoying bottoming.
However, there is more; what Toto Wolff considers as the “most interesting part” of the updated Technical Directive, is where we talk about wear and above all the flexibility of the table below the floor is also within the updated Technical Directive 39. We are talking about that plank that looks like wood but is instead produced in a special resin called Permaglass.
Wear and above all flexibility of this component of the Formula 1 car are something that is “intrinsically related to the bouncing problem itself and which goes hand in hand with metrics” and that requires a more rigorous application of article 3.15.8.a in in relation to the flexibility of the central area of the floor, to the bending and wear of the floor. This is because, in order for the AOM measurement to be comparable between all the cars, it is important that the stiffness of the floor at the Federation control points is equivalent between the cars.
The Federation suspects that there may be some teams that have found a way to have an uneven stiffness distribution of the floor and especially of the plank, which does not flex excessively in the three control positions while outside they do. The plank should instead have uniform stiffness and density, however, the problem is that it can also be divided into three parts (maximum) and that the FIA controls are mainly in the front, the most stressed until last year; where there is a shock absorber that the FIA has allowed teams to mount near the T-tray to prevent it from being damaged frequently by rubbing on the track. This was the case until last year because due to the bouncing present on this new generation of cars, even the rear part of the plank is now very stressed, as can also be seen from the image of the Ferrari base, one of the teams that has suffered the most of porpoising, without losing much in terms of performance.
Nothing therefore prevents the teams from working on the part not controlled by the Federation to dampen the bounce through greater flexion and softness of the plank, as if the plank in that area worked as a ‘suspension’, trying to make the whole thing a little bigger. Not to mention that a lower rigidity of the table, therefore greater flexion, would allow less wear. The Federation intervened with a proposal to change article 3.15.8.a, where it imposes a minimum stiffness, and above all it will be able to introduce further load tests on other parts of the table, to close what the FIA regarded as a regulation hole for this new generation of cars, according to Piergiuseppe Donadoni for formu1a.uno.
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An important phenomenon especially for those cars that are able to run with a slight rake angle and therefore with a softer set-up at the rear in order to have a car that is as parallel to the asphalt as much as possible. All eyes are on Red Bull RB18, the car that has endured porpoising and bottoming best in this first part of the season. Further discussions regarding this Technical Directive will take place in the F1 Commission meeting next Friday (08/07), even if the Federation has already communicated to the teams to consider, the one sent in the pre Silverstone GP, as if it were already the final draft, so that teams can already take countermeasures without wasting further time. Red Bull will arrive there doubtful. “If there wasn’t much bouncing in the last race, why keep writing a directive?” Christian Horner said at Silverstone.