Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, Circuit Gilles Villeneuve, 2022

F1 risks “really horrid” rows if FIA doesn’t share teams’ porpoising data – Mercedes

2022 Canadian Grand Prix

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Formula 1 could find itself mired in controversy if the FIA’s efforts to tackle porpoising are not fully transparent, Mercedes have warned.

The team’s chief technical officer James Allison welcomed the FIA’s announcement yesterday adding its plans to address the porpoising several teams have suffered this year.

Many drivers including Mercedes duo Lewis Hamilton and George Russell have warned drivers’ health and safety are being put at risk by the severe bouncing they have endured so far this year.

“I think it’s welcome that the FIA are recognising that it’s not a happy situation where lap time and drivers’ health are in very sharp conflict with each other,” Allison told Sky.

“And I think as a sport, it’s really helpful if that’s recognised and we try to tiptoe our way out of the sort of corner that the sport’s wedged into at the moment. Certainly we’re very keen on working constructively with them, as everyone else in the pit lane will be.”

However Allison raised concerns over the FIA’s plan to devise a metric to measure the severity of bouncing experienced by drivers. “I have to say that the general approach of sort of saying ‘we’re going to come up with a metric and then if you don’t fall the right side of that metric, we will impose upon you certain changes’, that’s a tricky way forward,” he said.

The FIA said yesterday it intends to use this metric to set “a quantitative limit for acceptable level of vertical oscillations.” Allison said teams will expect to be able to examine the metrics of their rivals’ cars to ensure all designs comply with the limit.

“I think at a very minimum, if that were the way forward, then the metric that is derived would need to be very transparently communicated, the data on which it’s based very transparently available and everyone’s metric live continuously and viewable by everyone – I think would be a prerequisite.

“Else we’re going to wind up in a really horrid situation where we’re told we must do something and we’re looking at another car that’s bouncing and [we ask] what about them [and are told] ‘oh no, their metric’s fine’. That would have to all be very much out in the open and I think a problematic way forward.

“But I think the general direction of travel of saying ‘this is a problem we need to fix it as a sport is extremely sensible’. And generally speaking this sport does tend to fix its own problems in fairly short order.”

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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44 comments on “F1 risks “really horrid” rows if FIA doesn’t share teams’ porpoising data – Mercedes”

  1. So Mercedes is saying they don’t trust the FIA? Who the hell do they think they are? So next time another team does not trust the Merc engine, the FIA should share all info on that engine to all the teams, so they can check if the FIA is doing it’s job?

    1. +1

      Wanted to say the same thing. As multiple winners they are screaming a lot now they are not 1 but 3 team on the grid. It’s getting pathetic.

    2. how to trust an organization which lets a RD get away with stealing a WDC by braking the rules

    3. That’s not at all what Mercedes are saying. They are saying it has to be transparent in what levels of vertical oscillations are occurring between cars cause you could end up one team getting a warning while another team appears to have worse vertical oscillations but falls within acceptable levels. This has also been discussed by other teams within the paddock in interviews but because this article just focus on Mercedes then this comment section goes into a frenzy.

      1. @rob8k the issue I see is that the data from other teams could be used by Mercedes to help them solve their own issues. Which is effectively stealing IP. So they’re asking the FIA to provide them with other teams information because they can’t work out their own issues themselves, so they’re essentially asking to legalise theft.

        It’s much like asking to see every teams wind tunnel data or CAD models to “ensure the other teams cars are legal”.

      2. Yes, it is what Mercedes (not sure about others) are saying. And by stating this it seems they are seeking input on the performance of other cars.

        FIA is measuring many things on the cars for which it has set limits. Most of those measurements are not published either.
        Why should they do it now?

        There should be a very transparent way of setting the limits though. You don’t want teams claiming that limits (or even metrics) were set deliberately to make them fail and others pass.

    4. You’ve completely misunderstood what James Allison said

  2. Mercedes can’t heck it.

    Mercedes wants rules changed.

    Mercedes now wants its competitor’s proprietary telemetry data, too.

    What’s Mercedes to ask for next? A complete set of design documents for the Red Bull?

    1. @proesterchen They could try to find Coughlan and Stepney but one of them has already passed away.

    2. @proesterchen – They’re owed some drawings from Aston Martin. Might be a good place to start…

    3. They just demand transparency rgd the data, which is used to judge whether porpoising is within limits. should be very reasonable to everyone, but blind merc hate probably distorts some peoples minds.

      1. You’re missing the point entirely. James Alison is stating that he doesn’t trust the FIA to enforce the rules and that they’d lie to say that a car was fine when actually, it was bouncing too much.

        If they’re doing that, how do we know any of the cars are actually legal? They say they checked out someone’s engine but without releasing all of the technical data, how do we actually know they aren’t just lying? They say a car came in under weight but… perhaps it actually didn’t?

        If Mercedes’ position is that the FIA can’t be trusted to not cheat in this area, surely every bit of data it collects in order to enforce the rules must be made public as well?

        1. And after the “private arrangement” the FIA made with one team about their “illegal” engine, trust may need to be earned again.

        2. can you blame them? last race in 2021 when the fia race director made up his own rules too shaft Hamilton & Mercedes

          1. No I can understand why they might not trust the FIA. They don’t have much choice though. If the FIA can’t be trusted to enforce this rule fairly, how do we know any of the rules are enforced fairly? We’ll need to see the full designs for everyone’s engine to ensure the FIA aren’t letting anyone get away with something illegal. We’ll need to see the internals for every car to ensure the FIA aren’t letting someone run with illegal parts… Where does it stop?

            You either trust those in charge of a sport or you leave the sport.

  3. Could work if they withdraw from the races that they have a lot of porpoising. They seem to be ok on some circuits and not on others. Just pull out of those problematic races.

  4. Haha. An hour or two ago, Russel was criticising drivers for “putting ‘performance over safety.'”

    Now his own team complaining about rules brought in to protect the safety of the drivers because it won’t benefit their performance….

    1. Mercedes complained themselves into a corner. They got what they asked for, just not what they expected to get and now they have to make a 180 without looking like they’re making a 180.

      So now they look thrice as whiney. They’re the Karen of F1 2022.

      1. They are the Karen of F1 2022

        ROFL

  5. Honest question, because I can’t remember..

    They have dual fuel flow sensors now, right? Is that flow data public to the other teams?

    1. Nope and we also still don’t know exactly what Ferrari did, that’s secret..

  6. To me this is all noise. Noise to distract from the medium term regulation changes Mercedes is after eventually. Everyone now focusses on FIA enforcing safety and checking bouncing, but the FIA statement also said clearly

    In addition to these short-term measures, the FIA will convene a technical meeting with the teams in order to define measures that will reduce the propensity of cars to exhibit such phenomena in the medium term.

    To me that is the essence here. What exactly is this going to mean?

  7. Mercedes can’t design a good car that works in the real world (only in the wind tunnel).

    Mercedes risks their drivers’ health testing out crazy setups to compensate for their lousy car.

    Mercedes drivers suffer from a bad back and had to undergo physiotherapy.

    Mercedes are salty about their ow

    1. Mercedes have always been salty, even when winning.

  8. Coventry Climax
    18th June 2022, 0:49

    If a certain car isn’t safe to drive, according to the FIA’s judgement, they should black flag that car. If the FIA comes up with a means of measuring whether a car is beyond the safety limit, even better, to make it non arbitrary.
    But it’s the world upside down for teams to ask for the data of other teams to be made public.
    If your cars porpoises excessively, then you should amend that, not the FIA.
    Hypothetical question: If you design a car where the parts keep coming of, do you ask the FIA to fix it? Do you ask for the FIA to change the rules? Or would fixing it be a job of the team itself?
    I hope the FIA listens and follows up on this: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nvlTJrNJ5lA

    1. Allison wants detailed proof that those parts don’t fall off from other cars, with as much detail as possible.

  9. We wouldn’t talking about FIA accessing to change rules in order to improve porpoising issues if the team struggling wasn’t called Mercedes, imagine this situation if the only team struggling was Williams

    1. Coventry Climax
      18th June 2022, 4:34

      Exactly.

    2. Charlie Racing
      18th June 2022, 9:27

      Exactly

  10. The issue is not exclusive to Mercedes. Riccardo said even in his Mclaren, as the race in Baku went on, it got worse and felt like someone was dribbling a basket ball on his head and he too had a sore back. Gasly has complained, the Ferraris clearly also have an issue. This season is probably going to be a run away for Red Bull, thats fine if people want F1 to be like that, but the regulations, cost cap and very short testing period ment most teams are locked into their design and won’t be able to develop themselve out of the problem. If it is not addressed by next season, I guess we will have another period of dominance by one team, with the others locked out of being able to challenge due to the restrictions. The FIA have an obligation to help find a solution that is practical and fair for all teams as they are the ones who set the new regulations and from what it seems did not foresee this issue. How much better would F1 be if we have 3 – 4 competitive teams at looking at podiums regardless of which flavour.

    1. You are right, but how do you want to get there? Certainly not by requiring FIA to share proprietary data of competitors.

      And don’t forget that wind tunnel time will be adjusted mid season based on WCC positions.

    2. Charlie Racing
      18th June 2022, 9:30

      Has there ever been a period where 4 teams compete for the top steps? What we see this year is inherent to F1

      1. Yep, 2012.

    3. McLaren found a fault with Daniel’s suspension after the Baku race. It was nothing to do with the current issues that Mercedes are facing. They have since fixed it.

      1. Well lando norris must have had the same problem….. seeing as he had the same issues. even the data showed that as the race went on mclaren suffered more proposing

  11. Chris Horton
    18th June 2022, 9:39

    This is comical.

    1. CheeseBucket
      18th June 2022, 11:41

      You’re comical.

      1. Chris Horton
        18th June 2022, 16:38

        No CheeseBucket, no.

        That was so not-right.

  12. If a driver has blurred vision and can’t read a pit board that car and driver needs to retire from the race.

    1. CheeseBucket
      18th June 2022, 11:42

      Yes, and the cars go too fast also so they can’t see things. Maximum 100mph should be enforced.

  13. Don’t complain about something you can change yourself. If you do and you want the higher ups to solve it for you, don’t complain about their solution, you literally asked for it. Bad lesson in not escalating themselves..

  14. Wow some people’s conclusions about what James said is complete nonsense. I guess we living in the age of the trump. Where we set aside the facts and just make stuff up.

  15. Electroball76
    18th June 2022, 14:22

    Teams have to obey given metrics all rhe time?
    The line about “this sport does tend to fix its own problems in fairly short order” was pretty funny though

Comments are closed.