SportF1The revelation about the flexible floor, a "surprise" for...

The revelation about the flexible floor, a "surprise" for Mercedes

One of the areas that the FIA and the teams have focused on as part of the talks on the new safety measures, imposed to get rid of the excessive porpoising that annoys the drivers, has been the rigidity of the floors and planks of Cars. has learned that during discussions at a Technical Advisory Committee (TAC) meeting in the week after the Canadian Grand Prix, suspicions were raised that some teams were pushing the limits of the rules that are supposed to limit flexing your flat bottoms and planks.

Current regulations stipulate a maximum flex of 2mm at the board’s two center holes, and no more than 2mm at its rear hole, in an attempt to ensure the floor is sufficiently stiff.

However, it was stated at the meeting that some teams have managed, with some skill, to flex the floors to a total of 6mm , which would allow them to run with a higher lean and much closer to the ground. This would help increase performance without the risk of the negative effects of hitting the ground.

Various sources suggest that some teams were surprised at what their competitors had done, with Mercedes boss Toto Wolff confessing how baffled he was by the situation.

“No one had a clue until the FIA brought it up at the last Technical Advisory Committee, which surprised all the teams,” he explained.

“What is in the regulation and what the regulation intends is quite clear. That is to say, there is no argument why you can bend more than what is [stipulated] in the regulation. So, at a minimum, it is a surprise, but more of a shock .”

In response to the flexible flooring revelations, the FIA, as part of its attempt to reduce the effects of porpoising , responded by notifying teams of an intended rule change.

The FIA’s single-seater technical director, Nikolas Tombazis , issued a draft technical directive during the British GP weekend that will take effect from the French Grand Prix, which will be held from 22 to 24 June. July. In that statement, the international federation has announced a tightening of the rules regarding the stiffness of the floor.

Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes W13

The FIA made it clear that it was taking the step to ensure there was “fair and equal relevance between all cars”, perhaps suggesting that this was not the case before.

Tombazis clarified that the governing body believed that teams that had “excessive deformation” of the ground were doing so “to achieve a significantly lower ride height, and therefore an indirect aerodynamic gain”.

The 2mm tolerance will be strictly enforced, and the stiffness around the floor hole must now be uniform for a radial distance of 15mm outside the periphery of the hole, with variance not exceeding 10 per cent in either direction.

The FIA added: “Competitors will be required to demonstrate compliance with these provisions through a detailed inspection of both the CAD and the physical installation, as well as a finite element analysis.”

Several teams have welcomed the new FIA move, suggesting the governing body must have acted because it feels some teams are going too far with what they are doing.

McLaren team boss Andreas Seidl said: “There must be a reason Nikolas [Tombazis] has made some clarifications on what he wants to see and what he expects.”

“From our point of view, we are happy with this clarification that is in the technical directive because in the end it should help us all to be on equal terms.”

Although it’s unclear which teams were playing with the flexible floors, Mercedes track engineering director Andrew Shovlin felt the change could help bring his team closer to the front.

“When it came out, we realized there were opportunities that we may not have taken or exploited.”

“So it will not affect us in the way we drive our car. It is possible that it affects our competitors and, by virtue of that, we get a little closer,” the engineer concluded.

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