Ferrari say new technical directive will ‘put pressure on teams’, dismiss Mercedes advantage

It's been widely speculated that the new rules could hurt Red Bull and Ferrari.

A new Technical Directive is being introduced at the Belgian Grand Prix, one that many believe will benefit Mercedes, but Red Bull and Ferrari aren’t worried.

Throughout the first half of the 2022 campaign, Mercedes encountered severe porpoising issues which played a part in them failing to fight Red Bull and Ferrari at the front of the field.

Seeing such extreme bouncing as a safety issue, the FIA began to work on a Technical Directive aimed at addressing the matter before the summer break.

In the process of doing so, they found that some teams, including Red Bull and Ferrari, were exploiting a grey area in the regulations to minimise porpoising, allowing the blocks and planks on the bottom of their cars to flex more than the permitted 2mm.

READ: Can Lewis Hamilton help Mercedes beat Ferrari to second?

The Technical Directive introduced at the Belgian GP will force them all to stop doing so, and some have reported that the top two teams in the championship will be as much as three-tenths slower as a result.

However, Ferrari Racing Director Laurent Mekies isn’t concerned about such a scenario unfolding.

“As far as we are concerned it’s an issue that pretty much has disappeared, we are now dealing with it as a completely normal set of items,” he said as per the official F1 site.

“If you have the issue you raise your car, if you don’t have it you could bring the car lower as we have done for quite a few decades now.

Article continues below

“The TD is doing a good job. The TD is effectively putting more pressure on the teams to operate their car far away from the porpoising. It is also putting more emphasis on checking the legality for plank wear. 

“All of these things, all of these tools that the FIA has and is doing a good job at it to make sure that we don’t play too close to the boundaries.”

Red Bull team principal Christian Horner also isn’t worried about the TD being introduced in Spa, but does have some concerns with the FIA’s potential plans going forward.

READ: Toto Wolff sends warning to Lewis Hamilton and George Russell ahead of Belgian GP

He says that, if the governing body do bring in further changes for the 2023 campaign to try and eradicate porpoising for good, problems could arise.

“I think the TD isn’t really the issue. I think the TD, for us it’s not a major issue,” he said.

“I think the bigger discussion is about a potential regulation change for next year that, here we are potentially in August, with what could be a major redesign of the car if the size of the floor were raised by the 25mm that they’re talking about, and other aspects. 

“I think that’s a far bigger discussion.”