Red Bull team principal Christian Horner believes some of his rivals are exaggerating their concerns over porpoising in the hope of provoking a rules change.Drivers from several teams have urged the FIA to make changes to the rules in order to reduce the porpoising they have experienced. George Russell has warned a serious crash is likely if the rules aren’t changed.
However Red Bull have largely avoided the bouncing problem, and Horner claimed others are pushing the safety angle to prompt a reaction from the FIA. He said he would tell his drivers to do the same thing if they were in the same position as some of their rivals.
“I’d tell them to bitch as much as they could over the radio and make as big an issue out of it as they possibly could,” said Horner in response to a question from RaceFans. “It’s part of the game. It’s like somebody [diving] in a penalty box.”
Asked whether he believes that is what some teams are doing Horner replied: “Of course it is.”
He said the teams who have problems with porpoising could solve it by raising their ride height, though doing that would make their cars slower.
“You can see it’s uncomfortable,” he conceded. “There are remedies to that but it is to the detriment of the car performance.
“So what the easiest thing to do is to complain from a safety point of view. But each team has a choice.”
Horner said it would not be fair to introduce rules changes which affect the entire grid when some teams are not suffering problems with porpoising.
“If it was a genuine safety concern across the whole grid then it’s something that should be looked at. But if it’s only affecting isolated people or teams, then that’s something that team should potentially deal with.”
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“You have a choice when you run your car, don’t you?” he added. “And you should never run a car that’s unsafe. But I think that’s more for the technical guys, because certain cars have issues and there’s some cars that have very few issues.
“It would seem unfair to penalise the ones that have done a decent job versus the ones that have perhaps missed the targets slightly.”
However McLaren team principal Andreas Seidl, whose driver Daniel Ricciardo reported back pain after yesterday’s race, said “it’s important to take these comments seriously from the drivers.”
“It’s important to have a discussion in the Technical Advisory Committee on what’s the next step, what’s the right way going forward,” Seidl explained.
“It’s easy to say ‘it’s easy to stop the porpoising, just adjust the set-up and sacrifice a bit of performance’,” he added. “But in the end, due to the competitive nature of the game we’re in, obviously you want to go to the to the limit of what’s acceptable and also for what the drivers can survive on-track.
“That obviously could go in the wrong direction. That’s why it’s very important to have this discussion.”
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2022 Azerbaijan Grand Prix
- Transcript: Why Norris reluctantly complied with McLaren’s Baku team orders
- Montreal is “going to hurt” in stiff 2022 cars say drivers hoping for bouncing fix
- Leclerc was heading to a ‘comfortable win’ before retirement – Ferrari
- F1 should penalise those who ‘obviously’ slow on purpose in qualifying – Norris
- Mercedes admit they pushed set-up “too far” after Hamilton’s Azerbaijan GP agony
154 comments on “Rival teams exaggerating concerns over porpoising to get rules break – Horner”
13th June 2022, 7:47
For once, I totally agree with Horner.
13th June 2022, 8:47
Yeah, it doesn’t happen often but I agree with him.
13th June 2022, 9:37
You mean the same Horner who complained for 7-8 years and had rules changed because they couldn’t design a car to compete with the Mercedes? That Horner?
13th June 2022, 9:41
“He said he would tell his drivers to do the same thing if they were in the same position as some of their rivals.”
He is openly saying that this is the way the game is played and he would do the same if the roles were reversed.
13th June 2022, 12:37
That wasn’t an aerodynamic issue. Merc had such an advantage with the introduction of hybrid engines that nobody could get near them with the token system. This is different.
13th June 2022, 13:40
Perhaps the nature of the problem was different but the outcome is similar in that; due to budget cap and controlled part introduction, the problem many teams are experiencing can’t be solved as easy. There is no tokens anymore but there isn’t enough money allowance to make significant changes. For that reason I am a bit sceptical about the whole budget cap. This is supposed to be the pinnacle of racing and yet people aren’t aloud to achieve what they can technologically due to budget caps.
The same people who try to make the sport more accessible to all tiers of racing teams and yet snub Andretti entering because it isn’t “big” enough mind you.
13th June 2022, 14:23
13th June 2022, 13:47
Teams are not allowed to run their windtunnel at the air speeds necessary to induce porpoising, and there is a strong budget cap that reduces the possibility of part experimentation.
It’s not quite the same thing as the engine token system, but it is similar in that the teams with a problem are hampered by the rules, and can’t catch up.
13th June 2022, 19:58
The token system was abandoned when Honda came back into F1.
And before you say it, no, Mercedes did not have early access to the regs, nor were they responsible for the 1.6L V6 Turbo Hybrid formula. They simply spent more money on developing their engine than Ferrari or Renault.
Phil Norman (@phil-f1-21)
13th June 2022, 14:47
13th June 2022, 16:35
Who complained about RB rear wing? Who had the rules changed for superfast Pitstop’s by RB? Who used an innovative steering device?
13th June 2022, 19:58
OH MY GOD!!!!
Mercedes did something innovative??!?
BAN THEM FROM F1!!!!!!!
Sonny Crockett (@sonnycrockett)
13th June 2022, 10:35
I hate to say it, but me too!
Mercedes can solve the issue almost immediately but it will reduce their outright pace.
13th June 2022, 11:19
Like McLaren does. They make the sensible choice
13th June 2022, 19:59
Why not just quit the sport?
If they’re not supposed to actually try to win, what’s the point in even showing up?
14th June 2022, 8:15
most of the grid doesn’t compete for wins, why are they showing up?
14th June 2022, 9:32
It’s not just Mercedes.
13th June 2022, 11:09
Quite right, i guess the thing about a broken clock is true.
Norris also brought it up when asked about Hamilton/Mercedes – they can just run it higher. But off course that means losing some performance (although how much performance they lose by doing so is probably quite a bit different between the cars).
13th June 2022, 14:58
Put a sensor in to measure porposing and bottoming out forces – if they too server force the team to raise the ride height. Sorted.
13th June 2022, 17:57
I agree with Horner. The same way I agreed with Binotto when he commented on Red Bull’s attempt to increase the budget cap.
This is why I find Horner to be the biggest hypocrite on the grid.
Someone could easily have come out and said “Some teams are facing issues with the budget cap, but not all of them. It’s possible for Red Bull to solve their budget cap issues, they just reduce development efforts and car performance to stick within the budget.”
Obviously, Horner has no shame in trying to push the FIA to increase the budget cap, but his moral compass seems to be on target when talking about porpoising.
13th June 2022, 19:55
@todfod I don’t think CH is looking/asking for a rise in the cap though. As if he isn’t fully aware that would do nothing for the ones who can’t even meet the cap. Until I’m shown a direct quote from him that he wants a rise in the cap I’m saying he is asking for relief for all teams due to the huge rise in travel and freight costs, so that all teams will stand a better chance of competing in all the races while staying within the cap. I’m convinced that is what he means when he speaks of cap relief. Not a higher cap, just some assistance from F1 to all teams due to the extraordinary times we are in that moved the financial goal posts for all teams. Money meant for travel and freight, not to add to their development regimen. And they can be policed for that just as they are now.
Euro Brun (@eurobrun)
13th June 2022, 22:29
And Max can stop complaining about some bumps too. Deal with it!
14th June 2022, 6:48
@shimks But it was OK for weight increase and added stays rule change?
14th June 2022, 7:59
They all play the same game, no doubt about that; and they all call each other out wherever possible.
14th June 2022, 9:55
Yes like cap limit?
14th June 2022, 13:41
I disagree. Remember this is the same red bull who got a rule change for the weight issues they had but now don’t want rule changes to help other teams. Every single team apart from RB have said changes need to be made.
13th June 2022, 7:52
Horner gets the game, and I’m inclined to agree that there’s a lot of theatrics. But as they were one of the heaviest cars and cried and lobbied successfully for a min weight increase this season, you can’t really moan if others scheme for some kind of ride height ruling because they’re more affected than you
13th June 2022, 12:14
He says that himself: he would do the same. Regarding the weight rulechange: They did not pull the safety card there, so they got 80% of the teams behind that proposal.
13th June 2022, 7:56
Mercedes are the best of the rest and are upwards of a second off the qualifying pace of the Red Bull. Is Horner’s suggestion that they should be 2/3 seconds off so the cars don’t bounce? Not great for the sport.
Technically I agree with him, they’ve done a better job so should see the benefits of that. But isn’t it a pretty standard F1 process for the teams who are off the pace to look at the teams who have an advantage at the start of the season and look to curtail it somehow, either on safety or legality? And I’m sure Red Bull would have played their part in those sort of protests in the past.
13th June 2022, 8:36
It wasn’t great for the sport to have 1 competitive engine in 2014 but despite all the whinging, the FIA remained strong and allowed Mercedes to keep their advantage they had because they did a better job than the rest.
The same should apply now.
13th June 2022, 9:44
Like I say, I tend to agree from a fairness perspective that if you’ve done a better job then you shouldn’t have that restricted.
But, you’ve cited one example of an advantage that didn’t change, but there are others where things have changed. Alfa were the only team I think that were in the weight target. By your reckoning, all the other cars (including Red Bull) should have either been disqualified or told to shed parts even if it made them uncompetitive. Were you arguing for that to happen at the start of the season?
This cannot be good for the drivers – either their bodies or their brains. You can’t just ask the teams to sacrifice performance for safety themselves as they won’t do it – they never have, hence increased safety regulations. Looking at the Ferrari and Mercedes drivers in particular (they go the most air time) and I’m very worried for their health if it continues. Either long term, or by it causing a serious accident.
13th June 2022, 10:05
You don’t get any penalty for being over the minimum weight limit, besides of course reduced performance. (just like with running your car in a way that is more comfortable to your drivers)
13th June 2022, 11:33
A car that is outside of the regulations isnt allowed to compete, so if a car is over weight, its an illegal car. Doesn’t matter if it gives an advantage or not…
I find the moaning about raising the spending limit worse than asking for a safety change…
13th June 2022, 12:45
There is only a minimum weight limit in Formula 1.
13th June 2022, 23:29
What are you talking about? weight limit is the minimum weight. If they are above that it is their problem, if they are below that they are in breach. This smacks of F1 intellectual combat with an unarmed adversary.
The current bouncing issue, is nothing to do with the rules, it is 100% about each individual car design trying to make the most of the rules. If the design hurts their performance and/or driver then they need to change the design, not the rules.
14th June 2022, 13:44
I am not sure even RB have any idea why their car does not bounce while the others do. They probably just got lucky with their design. RB can not possibly be the only team that understands the full physics of the porpoising issue. However their overweight car was precisely their own fault and they would have known their design was heavy before they produced it. It was entirely in their control and yet they got a rule change for that…
13th June 2022, 8:00
Most of the grid still have issues with porpoising and even the teams that have got on top of it still have it and it’s frankly dangerous as it can cause aero detachment and unpredictable grip levels. To pretend it’s not an issue to cling onto the advantage they’ve gained is far worse than those highlighting what a problem it is. Bring back active suspension from next year and lets innovate in the sport again. They should also look at bringing back interlinked suspension by mid season to help this year. That wouldn’t change things massively but would give teams more options to improve the issue. Maybe also add small bump in the budget to accommodate the change thus giving something RBR want too.
13th June 2022, 8:04
Lets not forget all the crying RBR did about Mercedes and their power modes in qualifying when they couldn’t engineer a better system. Or indeed accusing Mercedes of cheating all season with no evidence at all.
13th June 2022, 8:34
@slowmo The problem here is that you can’t rely on teams or drivers to address the safety issue as they will push performance to maximum bearable limit. That’s the reason it needs to be regulated by FIA in my opinion, and agree as you mentioned that systems are available to address that quickly. On the other hand, I’m also in favor of rewards for those that did a good job and think the modification should be introduced for next season but early so that teams throw their resources to the right problem and we don’t create a bigger gap between the teams.
I also think that this porpoising has very little technological interest but such a huge role in the current rule that it will consume lots of resources for limited application plus the fact that teams can get huge advantage out of “luck” given the nature of the problem and difficulty to reproduce in wind tunnel or CFD runs. In addition, it pushes team to create dirty air through vortex or out-wash to avoid stalling the floor which is what the concept was trying to address. I would rather see a modification in the suspension and clamp down on floor modification to keep the ability to follow closely, and if the pack get bunched together as a result, I won’t complain.
If it is a one season thing and teams know it will change next year, they are more likely to give up some perf for safety reasons once they are not in the hunt anymore while rewarding the teams that did a better job and can keep going at max potential.
13th June 2022, 9:33
@jeanrien I agree that Ferrari and Red Bull shouldn’t be penalised for coming off best with the regulation change but it’s not unreasonable to point out that both Ferrari and Red Bull made gains in the engine department from Mercedes agreeing to hold off on freezing and locking down when they had the best engine. Also numerous times during Mercedes dominant periods there were concessions made to help other teams catch up with them. So I don’t think it’s unreasonable that they should have their advantage on the porpoising issues pegged back a little.
People keep saying Red Bull did a better job but the honest truth of the matter is they may have just “lucked” into a car setup. We’ll never know in reality but certainly there is nothing on the record to suggest poroising was engineered out of the car in the design phase. The teams doing best just seem to have lucked into a design that they could dial it out best.
My suggestion to bring back interlinked suspension is to give the teams more tools to dial out issues as a intermediary measure so the FIA can show they’ve made some concession on the grounds of safety this year, while long term I’d like to see Active Suspension come back into the mix as it would likely offer a lot to the sport.
I do think the issue is hard to discuss as there is separate factors in the debate. The particular issue for the drivers being placed in pain this year is the bottoming out of the cars on the track. This is exacerbated by the fact the cars are porpoising so it’s constantly raising and smashing the car into the floor on the straights. Raising the ride height of the car will certainly ease the porpoising and carry the floor away from the track so it doesn’t bottom out but it will not eliminate porpoising altogether unless you raise it so far you remove the ground effect. So even with a raised car you still risk aero stall and detatchment in fast corners with the cars running with extreme porpoising.
For those of you against the changes please ask yourselves why you don’t want anything to change. Is it because you selfishly want your team to maintain an advantage? Long term it’s really not in the best interests of the sport to have the silly amounts of porpoising we’ve seen this year and even those cars that have the least issues still are having some issues. There are solutions to the problem that would allow everyone to fight on a even keel and eliminate the issues altogether but I guess some teams don’t want to win fairly.
13th June 2022, 11:06
You don’t really believe that do you?
Nope. No favourites here.
13th June 2022, 11:07
13th June 2022, 14:24
I do believe that phrase but I would change it slightly having re-read it to the below.
“The teams doing best have have lucked into a design that they could dial it out best.”
My first sentence in that paragraph gives my belief on this:
People keep saying Red Bull did a better job but the honest truth of the matter is they may have just “lucked” into a car setup.
The Red Bull still had porpoising issues in testing so suggestions they had it covered from the start are in my opinion false. It would appear their concept is less prone to porpoising issues. This could be due to them creating less downforce from their floor for example but there is no widespread agreement on why some teams have suffered so much more than others and likely will not be until years in the future. It’s just my opinion, you’re welcome to your own.
I asked why you think they shouldn’t change. Your answer seems to be because you don’t think it should. That doesn’t seem to really answer why you think it’s acceptable to carry on with a safety issue into the future.
I think by “some” you actually mean 2 teams. The whole point of the new rules was supposedly to improve the racing, it’s failing pretty miserably so far in that respect so some changes are definitely needed.
My favourite team is actually McLaren who don’t have huge porpoising issues, the car is just slow. I still think the issue needs sorting though before we have a huge accident in a very fast corner.
13th June 2022, 14:56
@slowmo I would ‘blame’ RBR’s minimal and insignificant amount of porpoising, right off the bat from pre-season testing, on Adrian Newey rather than on luck. He’s earned that kind of respect.
From what I have read the likes of Mercedes with their zero sidepod concept means that they need a low car to keep a seal underneath ie. the vacuum, whereas the likes of Ferrari and RBR use their sidepod bodywork to help that happen. RBR can run their car higher, and sure Ferrari has porpoising in spite of using their sidepods, so there is room for improvement from them in terms of making it all work together (front wing, floor, sidepods, rear diffuser) like RBR has.
13th June 2022, 15:12
That’s true. I don’t think it should change, especially not mid-season. Maybe for next year – but I still don’t believe that’s necessary either to eliminate this problem.
As I’ve noted (in another article) the safety issue is not regulatory, but design specific. Other teams’ car designs have it under control, but Mercedes’ car design doesn’t. They chose it, and they need to change it and how they set it up as a team.
The FIA doesn’t need to change it for them.
As a hypothetical comparison – if a team built a car that weighed 1000kg it would be allowed to race. It would be slow, chew through tyres and be potentially dangerous in a crash, but it would still be legal.
Should the rules be changed in that case to cater for 1000kg cars in impact testing? Should all cars be mandated to run at 1000kg then?
I agree – the racing is no better. But I never expected it to be. I was quite vocal about that when the rule changes were being discussed and finally announced.
Changes are absolutely needed IMO, but not the changes you are calling for.
McLaren have noted that to reduce their porpoising and vibration issues, they now run their cars higher.
Yeah, it’s made them slower – but that’s the compromise.
Honestly, I don’t think luck is much of a factor in any of this. These people and their incredibly powerful design and simulation tools aren’t just fumbling around in the dark hoping to stumble on the perfect design. They understand their cars very well, and all the reasoning for designing them they way they do.
All some teams have done differently to Mercedes (and Ferrari) is a combination of two things – creating a wider window where the aero stays attached, and running the car in such a way (including ride height and suspension stiffness) as to not run so close to the limits of the design.
Don’t worry – Mercedes will figure it out in time. And the refinement won’t come through luck, but simply good design.
13th June 2022, 15:17
@robbie Well in that case I sincerely hope Mercedes do get their concept working and dominate RBR and Ferrari in future and then you’ll see the hypocrisy as they cry to get the zero sidepod concept banned.
Newey has got it wrong quite a few times in the last 8 years so yes there is an element of luck to your concept working better than everyone else’s otherwise he’d have the best car every year. This year we’ve mandated no interlinked suspension (again to hurt a dominant area of Mercedes), we’ve introduced new larger wheels which inherently change the suspension/ride of the cars. They’ve introduced new rules around how air is controlled off the front wing and also implemented ground effect venturi tunnels, just to name a few big changes.
To get your concept to work well with all these changes with no data on them is nothing short of a miracle. Sure Newey has clearly made some good design choices in his car but you cannot model everything in CFD, paper and the tunnel. There is always an element of doubt when you put the car on the track that the design will work as expected.
13th June 2022, 15:40
@slowmo I sincerely hope on your behalf you’re not holding your breath for the zero sidepod concept to become the most desirable way. Good to hear you sounding a bit more reasonable with your ‘luck’ comment though. Wrt the last 8 years imagine what Newey’s cars could have done with the best pu behind it.
13th June 2022, 16:00
@robbie the question is if he could build the cars that would fit the best PU on the grid and still maintain that advantage. I have no idea on the zero sidepod concept, it seems like it has the potential to generate significant extra ground effect generated downforce which would mean Mercedes could shed a lot of aerodynamic wing load and hence drag. While ever the car is bouncing around though it’s unpredictable and unstable.
If money was no object I’m sure they’d have fixed it by now and be comfortably quicker. Perhaps they should just say sod it to the budget and spend their way out of trouble and pay for it later. I do actually wonder if the FIA could or would even come down on a team that did do it. For example spend 300m this year and develop concepts that will allow you to dominate for years to come but just hold your hand up for the year and say I blew my budget, you can take all my points off me.
I’m still miffed we didn’t get a McLaren resurgence this year. It’s bad enough they didn’t come up with a winning concept in the new rules but to compound it they messed up something as simple as brake ducts to go with it and tie their hands up for 3 races.
@S – I’m just miffed the racing isn’t close in the slightest. We’re already looking like we have Red Bull and Ferrari, Mercedes next and then the rest. No doubt Ferrari are now going to be allowed to “fix” their reliability issues to lock in further power advantages for the next 4 years under the guise of reliability too. There really isn’t much to be excited about for the next 3 years if we continue on the current trajectory. Maybe I’m just having a grumpy Monday.
NS Biker (@rekibsn)
13th June 2022, 19:05
Not going to even try to touch the “formatting”, well outside my pay-grade.
“People keep saying Red Bull did a better job but the honest truth of the matter is they may have just “lucked” into a car setup.”
Not sure about the luck part. In an article elsewhere, A. Newey discussed the porpoising issue with reference to his earlier experience with the phenomena. He indicated they had been able to model the problem and design around it. Mercedes and others have indicated their models didn’t show it so it wasn’t part of their design process.
There are many references to all the clever geniuses being able to solve the problem, but it has been 4 months and some are appearing no further ahead than at the start. I am sure they are, but it isn’t obvious.
An ironic twist, neither Red Bull or Ferrari could offer their solutions to any of the other teams without running afoul of the current rules. Not even a small slow leak.
13th June 2022, 23:43
@slowmo – “Well in that case I sincerely hope Mercedes do get their concept working and dominate RBR and Ferrari in future and then you’ll see the hypocrisy as they cry to get the zero sidepod concept banned.” –
This comment makes it very clear that your argument is based on and emotional attachment to Merc and your agenda (Maybe even hypocrisy).
If you sit their pointing at hypocrisy, you need to point at all of them and in fact yourself and the entire human race, we are all hypocrites to some extent.
14th June 2022, 7:37
I feel your pain and totally agree with you.
I’ve been waiting more than 30 years for F1 to do something about it that is guaranteed to work, but they never do. They just don’t seem to want it enough.
And agreed again about the engines – but it’s the same forces behind that charade too.
While F1 continues to give the participants the power to make the rules it will never be as good a racing series as it has the potential to be, nor as fair.