FIA quietly removes controversial rule

TD39 was introduced by the FIA during the middle of the 2022 season after Mercedes argued that porpoising posed a danger to its drivers.

Since the introduction of a new era of technical regulations, porpoising has been a challenge that plagued cars across the grid, most notably Mercedes.

The W13 suffered so significantly during races that Lewis Hamilton struggled to get out of his car after the 2022 Azerbaijan Grand Prix left him suffering severe pain.

The situation was, at one point, so severe for Mercedes that they feared the British driver might not be fit enough to race in the following grand prix.

Following protests from Mercedes, the FIA introduced TD39 ahead of the 2022 Belgian Grand Prix, aiming to stop cars from porpoising too much.

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However, since new floor regulations were implemented in the 2023 season, porpoising hasn’t been as problematic as before.

The new technical rule introduced a 15mm floor difference that has helped combat porpoising along the straights. 

The technical directive appears to have been dropped at the start of the 2023 season, having been relaxed before the 2022 Singapore Grand Prix.

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One of the factors behind the porpoising problem was believed to be the track surface, as it was more pronounced on street circuits and less noticeable on permanent race tracks.

As the paddock hasn’t headed to a circuit, such as Baku, in 2023, it’s not entirely clear if the new regulations have fully solved the problems since last year. 

The FIA is yet to comment publicly on the removal of TD39 and none of the teams have reacted to the move.