Formula 1

Formula 1’s governing body did not follow proper procedures when it offered teams the option of adding a second floor stay, says Ferrari boss Maurizio Binotto.

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After the violent bouncing that has been synonymous with the 2022 generation of cars was worsened in Baku, F1 drivers from a number of teams urged the FIA to intervene, citing health concerns.

The FIA replied by providing a technical directive ahead of the Canadian Grand Prix to assist combat the consequences. It advised the teams that it intended to develop a meter to measure the vertical acceleration loads of the vehicles and force the teams that are most affected to reduce bouncing.

However, Nikolas Tombazis, the FIA’s head of single-seaters, also offered teams the option of adding a second stay to strengthen the floor, a solution that was discovered on the Mercedes cars during Friday practice in Montreal.

Mercedes lifted the second stay on Saturday after other teams hinted they had grounds to launch a protest, claiming that Tombazis’ technical direction was merely advisory in nature, and that its car may still be found unlawful by FIA scrutineers.

The technical specifications of Formula One allow for only one floor stay to reinforce the floor.

Extra floor stay Mercedes W13 – Canada Giorgio Piola took the photo.

Ferrari CEO Binotto argued that by releasing the technical directive, the FIA did not follow the necessary procedures, as a TD does not affect the regulations, ahead of more negotiations this week to reach a compromise on 2022’s heated topic.

On Sunday night, Binotto remarked, “For us, technical directives are not applicable.” “It’s something we mentioned to the FIA, the reasons they are not applicable is that a TD is there to clarify regulations or to somehow to address policing, but a TD is not there to change the regulations.

“Through a TD, you cannot amend the regulation.” And that, my friends, is government.”

The FIA could push through a regulation change without the teams’ approval on safety grounds, but it would still have to be ratified by its World Motor Sport Council. The council’s next gathering takes at the end of the month ahead of the British Grand Prix, so in theory a rules tweak could be in place before the next race.

“What can the FIA do, even on safety grounds?” Binotto added. It’s to first have a consultation with the TAC [technical advisory committee], change the regulations and go straight to the world council for a formal approval of the change the regulations without having the approval of the teams on safety grounds.

“However, a TD does not change the rules.” So that’s why we forwarded it to FIA; these TDs didn’t apply to us.

“In fact, I believe they were released by mistake; I believe the metric had not been applied first.” For the weekend, none of the extra brackets were installed in any of the cars. So much commotion for nothing.”

Ferrari Team Principal Mattia Binotto Photo by: Ferrari

Binotto did admit porpoising was worth addressing in the future to ease concerns over the long-term health of the drivers, but he believes the issues might be mitigated without FIA intervention as teams continue developing their 2022 cars, which are still relatively new.

In Montreal the affected teams, including Mercedes, already saw the bouncing effect reduced as it chased performance while running the car higher at the same time.

“Porpoising, it’s something that we need to tackle for the future and try to reduce it, and we need to do that through maybe technical change,” he added. “In saying that, to date it has not been such an issue.

“It’s track related. I think the cars are developed; they will be developed as well.

“It’s a technical issue that needs to be discussed and how we do that, I think for me it’s an open question.”