Horner: It is unjustifiable for the FIA to alter F1 anti-porpoising standards

  • 87
© Technology

In response to driver concerns over porpoising, Christian Horner feels it would be unjust for the FIA to amend Formula 1's regulations and "penalize the ones that have done a great job."

The reappearance of ground effect with the 2022 F1 vehicle generation has caused a phenomena known as porpoising, which has harmed certain teams more than others.

During the weekend of the Azerbaijan Grand Prix, drivers suffered with their vehicles bouncing about the street track surface, especially at the conclusion of the lengthy start/finish straight.

Mercedes drivers Lewis Hamilton and George Russell have been vocal about safety concerns, while Pierre Gasly of AlphaTauri believed the FIA needed to find a solution to "prevent us from ending up with a cane at age 30."

Red Bull has had far less vehicle porpoising than the majority of other teams.

Max Verstappen finished ahead of teammate Sergio Perez in Baku to extend Red Bull's lead at the top of both championships.

It is the first time since 2011 that Red Bull's drivers have occupied the top two positions in the drivers' standings, while their lead in the constructors' title has grown to 80 points.

Red Bull F1 head Christian Horner responded to calls from drivers to change the regulations to eliminate porpoising by stating that teams "can always put a thicker board on the vehicle if they wanted" and that "the simplest thing would be to lift the car."

"You have a choice where you run your car, don't you?" Horner stated.

"You should never run a car that's unsafe. But I think that's more for the technical guys. Because certain autos have concerns. And there are some cars that have very few issues.

"So it would seem unfair to penalise the ones that have done a decent job, versus the ones that have perhaps missed the target slightly."

Horner stated that the FIA should only act if there is a "real worry for the safety of the entire grid."

"But if it's only affecting isolated people or teams, then that's something that that team should potentially deal with," he said.

During the Azerbaijan race weekend, it was revealed that teams rejected a request made last year to increase the minimum rideheight of the vehicles in accordance with the new regulations.

However, the increasing number of drivers who are concerned about their safety has brought the issue back into the limelight ahead of this weekend's Canadian Grand Prix.

When asked how he would cope with his drivers if Red Bull struggled with porpoising, Horner stated that he would "tell them to complain as much as possible over the radio" and that it was "part of the game."

"There are remedies to [porpoising] but it is to the detriment of car performance," Horner said.

"So what's the easiest thing to do is to complain. Each team has a choice."