Ferrari change stance on new rule after accusing FIA of helping Mercedes

Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz have won four race between them for Ferrari in 2022.

Ferrari race director, Laurent Mekies, has said that the Scuderia support the technical directive (TD) that was introduced at Spa.

When ground effect aerodynamics returned at the start of this season, the teams noticed that there was an increased level of contact between the floor and the track surface.

The aerodynamic concept was essentially flipped upside down, necessitating a re-think of the chassis design, and some teams were always going to judge the evolution better than others.

Mercedes, having had the quickest car for the previous eight years, conceptualised a car that, in the right conditions, works fairly well, but on bumpy circuits and adverse conditions, is erratic at best.

READ: Charles Leclerc has an unwanted stat after Singapore

Sir Lewis Hamilton and George Russell have been suffering from bouncing as a result of chassis turbulence, and this is better known as “porpoising.”

The Silver Arrows eventually got to the bottom of that, but they then found defects on the floor itself that was giving them harsh oscillation, and this is simply known as bouncing or bottoming.

Not only did it effect their performance on the straight, but it also became largely unsafe, so the team pushed for the FIA to make changes to the regulations.

Red Bull and Ferrari argued that the Silver Arrows could simply raise the ride height of their car, but did not want to because of the adverse effects this would have in the corners.

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The change in regulations was thought to favour Mercedes from a performance perspective, particularly when the FIA banned the moving planks and flexible floors that the top two teams were thought to be using.

When those changes were brought in at the Belgian Grand Prix though, Red Bull, if anything, appeared to have even more of a gap over both Mercedes and Ferrari.

The Austrian side have won every race since the summer break, with Max Verstappen taking victory in Spa, Zandvoort and Monza, before Sergio Perez claimed full points in Singapore last weekend.

Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz’s double podium last weekend was their first since Miami, highlighting the stranglehold Red Bull have held over the championship in recent months.

Their performance deficit is not thought to have anything to do with the TD.

“Really, we don’t think there is any specific impact on our team here,” said Mekies.

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“The [directive] is a good thing. It’s putting effectively more pressure on plank wear measurements, which have been there forever. It’s doing it in a bit more sophisticated way.

“We are fully in favour of it and we don’t think it has impacted any of our relative performance, there is certainly other factors for that.”

Verstappen finished seventh in Singapore after a tricky weekend, but he can seal his second world title with a win and the fastest lap in Japan on Sunday.