The governing body of the championship has shown its intention to implement more stringent tests regarding the anti-roll bars of F1 single-seaters. These measures are a direct result of Zhou Guanyu ‘s crash at the British GP, which saw the Chinese driver’s Alfa Romeo rollbar fail after contact with the track.
Since then, Alfa Romeo has collaborated closely with the FIA, while other teams have been asked for their opinion on other possible changes in the wording of the championship rules and regulations.
This matter will be discussed at a specially convened meeting of the FIA technical committee, led by its highest representative, Nikolas Tombazis .
One of the possible results of this regulation could be the abandonment of the herringbone-shaped ring design that the regulations until now allowed, since Alfa Romeo is the only team that is using it in 2022.
On the matter, any changes to the regulations must be confirmed as soon as possible, so that teams have enough time to ensure that their 2023 chassis designs meet the most stringent tests.
One of the complications could be that some teams have considered keeping their 2022 chassis as a cost-saving measure, and now they will have to adapt.
Alfa Romeo technical director Jan Monchaux confirmed at the recent French GP that the Swiss team has closely cooperated with the FIA.
“The analysis is still ongoing, we are working from day one with the FIA to try to reconstruct the accident and evaluate the best we can,” he told Motorsport.com.
“Because it is not an easy task. The internal investigations are not quite finished yet, so I am not going to reveal anything. And if anyone is going to reveal anything, it will be the FIA.”
“The FIA has asked all the teams to provide input, imposing various load cases on their respective roll bars to potentially understand where the effect can be improved.”
“The load cases that are imposed in the standards have some vectors where you need to apply a force to the front and rear of your roll bar [that] are potentially not the most appropriate for the type of accident.” we had, where you effectively have a car that slides, so it’s subjected to forces that are pretty flat, and not so much a vertical type of impact.”
“So there could be changes in the future. But I think the FIA will be back before the summer break is over, with some new recommendations and additional tests. We have to see what they will take from the feedback from all the teams.”
McLaren technical director James Key acknowledged that the forces involved in Zhou’s accident were unprecedented. “I understand that it’s very complicated trying to derive load cases from this,” he said. “But the FIA is working hard to help the teams get a new test.”
“It was quite a scary situation due to its conditions, and anything like that will always draw new conclusions from a safety point of view, and that is exactly what the teams and the FIA are discussing the most for next year.”
“I suspect that, as mentioned, we will have some kind of additional sideload tests or something like that, which we have to pass by 2023.”
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