Aston Martin admit support for controversial FIA rule change

The minimum height of the cars' floors in 2023 has been raised by 15mm to help counter the porpoising problem that plagued the grid last season.

The major changes in regulations last year caused teams to run into a number of unexpected problems and stumbling blocks.

One of these issues was porpoising, a violent bouncing that plagued a number of teams on the grid, with Mercedes even sacrificing the first half of the season’s development to stop the bouncing.

The aerodynamics of the new car design combined with the minimum ride height caused the cars to bounce, putting the drivers through a lot of pain and making the cars almost undrivable.

Ahead of the 2023 season Formula 1 have tweaked a rule to help prevent porpoising, raising the minimum height of the cars’ floor edges by 15mm.

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This change in floor height has provided engineers up and down the paddock with the tough task of redesigning their floors, something which Aston Martin technical director Dan Fallows has said that his team enjoyed.

“I think it was the right thing to do to try to make a change to the regulations to help out this bouncing,” he said.

“We all know that the teams are tending to want to run the car right up to the limit. So by regulation, allowing some degree of freedom in there makes an awful lot of sense. 

“It did hurt in terms of the downforce of the car but we went into the development saying ‘well, we wanted to get round that as quickly as possible’, and then to develop further. So that was a big thing for us.

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“Interestingly, any time you touch anything particularly that sensitive on the car, it has other effects on the floor and the aerodynamics around the rear of the car in particular.

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“And actually that was quite a fun challenge to try to see how we could sort of take that disadvantage, if you like, and turn it into an advantage. So it was actually quite fun to work with that fact. Any rule changes are usually very good fun.”

Aston Martin’s approach to the new rule would have been boosted by the arrival of 41-year-old Fernando Alonso, who has a plethora of experience for the team to learn from.

Having started life in F1 slowly, Aston Martin are expected to improve to become a competitive midfield team this season.