LONDON, United Kingdom (UOL-FOLHAPRESS) – The International Automobile Federation has managed to dissuade everyone from taking measures announced over the Canadian GP weekend to reduce the jump in F1 cars. Although no measure has yet taken effect, it was enough to spark heated and questionable discussions in Montreal.
Toto Wolff also brushed away at Saturday’s team owners meeting, in a discussion that started out more generalized and then focused on Christian Horner and Mattia Binotto. The Austrian’s rebuke was accompanied by his insistence that his drivers were complaining so much about the pain and danger posed by jumping cars on the team’s instructions, that the FIA be tried to change the rules. Mercedes is the car that suffered the most from these jumps in Azerbaijan, ahead of the unit’s reaction, something that was not repeated with the same intensity this weekend. For rivals, it proved that it was just a matter of setting up the car more safely.
The discussion only highlighted an F1 moment: some teams having to have a fast car have put drivers in a difficult position to admit racing in pain.
The FIA’s intervention led to that, but it was hasty, without medical evidence and without certain parameters, only to cause more controversy.
If, on the one hand, Mercedes was initially seen as the big loser by the technical directive announced on Thursday, rivals were not happy, the next day, the team’s cars with the second rod were reduced to floor speed, Something that was only allowed a day before.
This allows the rod to make the floor more stable, even when it is very close to the ground, which would, at least in theory, solve two problems at once: the car would jump low without losing performance.
The rod isn’t difficult to install on the car, but what raised doubts was the sophistication of Mercedes’ solution, something that rivals say won’t be possible overnight. The controversy did not extend to the classification and race only as the team decided not to go through with the news, claiming it did not have the expected effect.
Either way, rivals are watching ever since Shaila-N Rao took over from Peter Bayer at the FIA as Secretary General of Sport. The lawyer worked at the unit between 2016 and 2018, when she moved to Mercedes. In the team, she was an advisor to Toto Wolff until some time ago, when he returned to the federation.
But the controversy over the FIA’s attempt to intervene in the jump issue doesn’t stop there and is something that links Mercedes to other teams. The idea of the unit was to work with the teams to determine a metric that would establish a floor movement limit and, if a car was above this limit on Saturday during the third free practice, the car would have to be raised by 10 mm. Although this sounds low, it is already something that brings significant performance loss.
From Mercedes, which suffers greatly from this floor movement, to Red Bull, which both leads the championship and suffers very little, everyone complained. Not only that, there will be a meeting next week in search of a common denominator.
What the FIA’s technical directive has shown is that the institution wants to prevent these jumps, claiming it is a safety issue, meaning that a vote between the teams is not necessary. But the fairness of the championship requires that the way it is handled is transparent.