Wolff brands Red Bull and Ferrari floors ‘a shocker’ as FIA rule them illegal after Austrian GP

Sir Lewis Hamilton and George Russel may be brought back into play after the technical directive takes effect in France.

Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff has described the loophole in the regulations exploited by Red Bull and Ferrari as a “shocker.”

Section 13 of the technical regulations prohibits any flexing of the floor or the wooden plank by any more than 2mm.

The plank is designed to act as a “skid block” so that teams, try as they might, cannot run their cars lower than the regulation ride height.

As a result of that purpose, there is a limit to how much the plank is allowed to be worn away during the race and, if there is not enough wood left underneath the car at the end of a race or session, the driver will be penalised.

This year, the regulations state that there are two specific parts of the plank that cannot flex more than 2mm, but there is one part, at the back near the drivers’ seating position, which is not directly mentioned.

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Ferrari and Red Bull have been using this to provide more padding for their drivers, and this prevents the same “porpoising” and bouncing that Mercedes have been experiencing this year.

The FIA started measuring the cars at the Canadian Grand Prix to see how much oscillation was going on, and whether it was becoming unsafe.

This came after both Sir Lewis Hamilton and George Russell struggled physically in Baku, and the technical directive in Montreal states that the plank technique Red Bull and Ferrari are currently using will be banned as of the French Grand Prix.

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Upon learning about the quirky use of the plank on their cars, Wolff was more than a little taken aback.

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“Nobody had an idea until the FIA brought it up in the last Technical Advisory Committee,” he told the Race.

“Which was to a great surprise of all the teams because what’s in the regulations, and what was the intent of the regulations, it’s pretty clear.

“There is no argument why that could deflect more than what’s in the regs. A bit of a surprise to say the least, more of a shocker.”

Red Bull and Ferrari have both expressed concerns over the directive due to its manipulation of the regulations and the pecking order after, in their eyes, they fairly built a better race car.

What the top two teams have done is not strictly illegal right now, but it will be after the Austrian Grand Prix this weekend.