Horner ‘disappointed’ by suspected collusion between the FIA and Mercedes

The FIA spent the Canadian Grand Prix weekend monitoring the level of oscillation on each car.

Red Bull team principal Christian Horner was unimpressed by the fact that Mercedes happened to have a second floor stay ready for the Canadian Grand Prix following a technical directive from the FIA.

Due to the unsafe levels of “porpoising” and bouncing so far this season under the new technical regulations, the governing body has introduced a metric that will enable them to set a limit on oscillating movement so that they can protect the long-term health of the drivers.

Because the change was brought in at such short notice, the teams were permitted another floor stay to help stabilise the cars, but Mercedes’ additional stay actually appeared to make things worse, so they ditched it after Friday practice.

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However, there was discontentment over the fact that, one day after the announcement of the new directive, the Silver Arrows had managed to fly out the additional stays from Brackley to Montreal.

Since Mercedes have been impacted the most from a performance and safety perspective this year, the Red Bull boss finds it all very strange.

“What was particularly disappointing was the second stay,” said Horner, quoted by the Telegraph.

“It has to be discussed in a technical forum, and that is overtly biased to sorting one team’s problems out – the only team who turned up here with it, even in advance of the technical directive.

“So work that one out.”

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Alpine boss Otmar Szafnauer agreed that the timing of the directive would have made it difficult to introduce another stay given that the distance teams have to travel to get to Canada.

Further, technical directives are designed to remind teams of the regulations, not to add to the rules, so the Romanian-American reckons there would have been protests had more stays appeared.

“It was quite late and we aren’t able to produce a stay here,” added the Alpine boss.

“As far as the process goes, it’s a technical directive and technical directives, as we all know, aren’t regulations.

“So, it could very well be that we shouldn’t be running this in qualifying and the race. And if teams have brought those stays, I would imagine they could be perhaps looked at after and protested.”

The new directive does not specify what level of bouncing will be considered too much, and Red Bull and Ferrari have both suggested that it advantages Mercedes in that all the teams may be asked to raise their ride height.

The result would be that Mercedes’ deficit to the leading two teams this season would be cut out for them by the FIA, because the German side do not want to cost themselves performance in the corner by raising the ride height and making the ride more comfortable.

Furthermore, making a change just before a race weekend, in AlphaTauri team principal Franz Tost’s eyes, was poor timing.

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“The timing was absolutely not good because most of the people were travelling and just to send out the technical directive a few days before the race is for sure not the best,” stated the Austrian, quoted by formulanerds.com.

Aston Martin boss Mike Krack indicated that the teams should have been given more details and more time to prepare for the directive.

“Yes, you can react, but you need to be really sure what you are doing,” he explained.

“You need to know upfront what this would do so I think it’s a situation you have to take a conservative approach and then look for it for the following race.

“But as I said, the timing really could have been better.”

It is not yet known whether the FIA intends to set a bouncing limit for the British Grand Prix next weekend using the measurements taken in Canada, and Formula1news.co.uk has contacted them for a statement.