F1 GP Canada: this is how the new anti-hopping rules will be applied

The FIA ​​has issued a technical directive to impose emergency solutions to the porpoising phenomenon. This is how the new rules will be applied in practice from Montreal

The big news of the Canadian GP weekend is not so much the return to the calendar of Circuit Gilles Villeneuve after three years of absence due to Covid-19, but the application of the technical directive issued by the FIA ​​to counteract the phenomenon of porpoising and safeguard health of the pilots. In Baku – a circuit where Formula 1 single-seaters have reached unprecedented heights in terms of jolts on the long 2,200-meter straight – the issue has become the subject of controversy and political debate among the teams, especially following the images that showed a Lewis Hamilton particularly sore back at the end of the 51 laps of the Azerbaijan GP. And if, after the official communiqué with which the Federation imposed two anti-hopping rules, it was legitimate to ask how the new restrictions would be applied, the necessary clarification on how the checks will be carried out has arrived in the Montreal paddock.


Before practice, a brief review of the theory may certainly be useful. Waiting for the team designers and FIA engineers to meet in a technical meeting to decide how to definitively resolve the issue in 2023 – there is a lot of talk about the possible reintroduction of theinert, a hydraulic element of the suspension banned with the introduction of the new regulations, and which made it possible to limit the variations in height from the ground of the single-seaters – in the meantime, two buffer solutions have already been imposed by the Canadian GP. On the one hand there is a detailed check of the shape and wear of the bottom of the cars (the part that touches the asphalt and which, therefore, is subject to wear as porpoising increases), while on the other it is being studied a limit to vertical oscillations. In this second case, it is a mathematical formula that will make it possible to establish with certainty which teams will be subject to disqualification in the event that they present values ​​higher than the allowed.


As already mentioned, the anti-porpoising rules will be applied as early as the Canadian GP, ​​on stage this weekend on the Montreal track. From the first free practice sessions, the single-seaters will also communicate the quantity of jolts on the straight to the Federation technicians in real time: an operation possible thanks to the control units normally used to transmit information to the FIA, equipped with an accelerometer capable of calculating vertical oscillations as well. . The collected data will then be analyzed and used to finalize the mathematical formula that will set a limit to jumping, which the teams will not be able to cross and which will be communicated before free practice 3. In the third and final test session of the weekend, then, all the teams will be forced to run three consecutive fast laps and without the use of the Drs (the mobile wing reduces the load and, therefore, helps to contain porpoising) in order to allow the FIA ​​to check if there are any teams above of the allowed limit.


Having clarified that, in the event of a violation of the rules, there will be a disqualification of the car that has become the protagonist of the illegal behavior, the FIA ​​will be able to impose an increase in the height from the ground of (at least) 10mm at the rear to all those who, in the during FP3, they will not have been able to fall within the parameters established by the Federation’s engineers. Maximum attention will also be placed on the control of the three fastest laps that the drivers will have to perform in free 3: those who will be caught going too slowly to alter the values, will in fact have the obligation to repeat the test. It remains to be seen whether the maximum permitted porpoising threshold will require a major change to the car set-up or if the teams will be able to return within the limits without major losses in performance.

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