Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff does not believe that other team principals are taking the “porpoising” and bouncing situation seriously enough amid concern for driver safety.
Both George Russell and Sir Lewis Hamilton struggled physically last weekend in Baku because of the aggressive bottoming out they experienced on the straight, and Russell has called for changes to be made to protect the drivers’ heads and spines.
In response, the FIA introduced a new metric ahead of this weekend’s Canadian Grand Prix that measures the oscillating movement of the cars, and determines whether there is too much for the governing body’s liking.
One of the side effects of the bouncing is a loss of time on the straights, and Mercedes have been lacking around a second a lap on the straights to front runners Red Bull and Ferrari.
A good way to limit the bouncing is to raise the ride height so, to stay within the parameters set by the FIA, teams may end up needing to raise their ride height.
While this makes the ride more comfortable and limits the risk of the drivers suffering physical injuries as a result of the shaking, it also disadvantages those who have phased out the issue or designed their car in such a way under the new technical regulations that the phenomenon does not affect them.
This is because those teams would lose performance in the corners as a result of running their cars higher when, in the opinion of some in the paddock, it should be the ones who have not designed a sufficiently quick car who should be making changes.
Red Bull boss Christian Horner does not believe it is fair for the governing body to help another team out on the basis that they have not made a competitive car.
“It’s the same rules for everybody,” affirmed the Briton.
“Some cars have the issues, some cars don’t. For the ones that don’t inevitably there will be a push to try and get the regulations changed. That’s the nature of the game, that’s the nature of Formula 1.
“It would be unfair to have effectively what would be deemed a regulation change halfway through a year because a team has missed a target.”
Sky Sports presenter Simon Lazenby suggested that Wolff was “absolutely apoplectic” in the meeting between team principals this weekend, while former F1 driver Martin Brundle said that the Austrian was “feisty” and feeling “quite upset.”
Wolff expressed his disappointment ahead of qualifying in Montreal that there are some team principals in the paddock prioritising performance over the wellbeing of the competitors.
“Yeah, sometimes getting upset. I believe what we [have] seen in Baku and also here is every driver from every team including the frontrunners has said they are suffering from the bouncing or the bottoming.
“I think it’s all fair we are having political fights about performance gains but I think some of them are taking it too lightly when you look at drivers’ heads.
“I think in Baku it was definitely too dangerous to run these cars every single one suffered.
“You could see the bottoming on the straight was quite dangerous and we’ve seen it yesterday too.”
The new directive from the FIA will not be enforced this weekend, but the data collected will be used to determine a bouncing limit for future races.