F1: New rules to prevent porpoising to placate Mercedes in 2023

A meeting of the Formula 1 Technical Advisory Committee (TAC) has concluded with the sport set to introduce new technical rules for 2023 that focus on the underfloor of the car and be specifically designed to reduce the prospect of porpoising.

A number of teams like Mercedes got their design all wrong and because of their incompetence have battled the aerodynamic phenomenon this season.

That has often caused the bottom of the car to slam the road, sending as much as 10G worth of force through the driver’s posterior.

The FIA reacted following the Azerbaijan Grand Prix with a technical directive, details of which were also finalized in the TAC prior to its introduction at next month’s Belgian Grand Prix.

More significant, however, are changes to the technical regulations heading into the 2023 campaign with a more permanent set of fixes to be put in place.

That will see the edges of the floor raised by 25mm, while the underfloor diffuser throat will also rise.

There will be tighter deflection tests on the floor itself, no doubt in response to suggestions some teams are flexing their floors this season to create additional downforce.

Finally, a more accurate sensor will be introduced to cars to help quantify the aerodynamic oscillation – effectively a more refined version of what is poised to be introduced in Spa-Francorchamps.

The way wear on the plank is measured will also have changed.

The measures being introduced this year are considered and accepted to be short-term measures, and could be scrapped in future should a better solution be identified.

In recent races, porpoising has become somewhat less of an issue, though the FIA remains wary, with both Silverstone and the Red Bull Ring being circuits where the phenomenon was expected to be low.

A further step to be taken for 2023 to strengthen the roll hoop after it broke off in Guanyu Zhou’s terrifying British Grand Prix crash.

All determinations will need to be ratified by the World Motor Sport Council prior to ensure the regulations are clear for teams, especially looking to 2023.