Red Bull’s Max Verstappen joked after qualifying for the Belgian Grand Prix that the new technical directive has had a massively detrimental effect on his team.
Mercedes have been asking for changes to the regulations amid safety concerns due to the dangers attached to “porpoising” and bouncing.
The phenomenon has been a feature of the ground effect aerodynamics that were reintroduced at the beginning of this season under the new technical regulations.
Neither Sir Lewis Hamilton nor George Russell have won a race this season due to the effect it has had on the Mercedes car, which has been losing an abundance of time on the straight.
The German team has not been able to make its unique chassis concept work for them but, more than that, the turbulence of the aerodynamics, coupled with the impact of the floor with the track surface, was presenting a health risk.
The FIA therefore took action in Montreal by announcing a technical directive, which would entail teams being asked to raise the ride height of their cars by a minimum of 10 millimetres if their oscillation was excessive.
The oscillation limit was set in Canada, with the rule coming into effect at last weekend’s Belgian Grand Prix.
The governing body also ruled that the use of moving skid blocks on the underside of the car was illegal after the summer break, and it was this aspect of the directive that was touted to potentially harm Red Bull and Ferrari.
Both teams affirmed that this would not be the case, and they proved it in Spa as Mercedes struggled to find pace either in practice or qualifying.
Verstappen took pole by six tenths of a second from Carlos Sainz, while Hamilton and Russell ended qualifying seventh and eighth respectively.
The seven-time champion was 1.8 seconds adrift of the reigning champion, leading the 24-year-old to jovially suggest that the new regulations have caught Red Bull out.
“That technical directive has been very, very bad for us,” quipped Verstappen after qualifying.
“As I said before, I didn’t expect it to make much difference to our car.
“Whether it does for Ferrari, I don’t know, and Mercedes is a bit short of top speed this year anyway, so it’s no surprise that they’re not competing here either.”
Verstappen and Charles Leclerc both took grid penalties that saw them start 14th and 15th, respectively, in Belgium, but the Dutchman came through to win the race by nearly 20 seconds from team-mate Sergio Perez, who started and finished second.
Sainz came home third ahead of Russell, while Leclerc, who had faced a multitude of issues during the race, had to settle for sixth behind Fernando Alonso.
Hamilton’s race ended on lap one when he collided at Les Combes with the Spaniard.