F1 to demand teams end porpoising issues after doctors intervene in complaints from drivers

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 (AP)
(AP)

The FIA has intervened in F1’s growing row over porpoising in a bid to address drivers’ safety concerns.

A number of drivers have said the situation has become untenable in the wake of the Azerbaijan Grand Prix with Lewis Hamilton saying it was the toughest and painful race of his lengthy Formula 1 career.

Hamilton and others suffering worst from the problem are likely to struggle again at this weekend’s Canadian Grand Prix but the FIA will use data gained from this season in order to make changes for future races.

Under the overhaul of the cars for 2022, the sport’s governing body has access to all the teams’ respective data and had seen enough to get involved in this particular row.

In a statement, the FIA said of the porpoising in Baku that, “the effect of this during and after the race on the physical condition of the drivers was once again visible. The FIA, as the governing body of the sport, has decided that, in the interests of safety, it is necessary to intervene to require that the teams make the necessary adjustments to reduce or to eliminate this phenomenon.”

Following the race in Montreal this week, the FIA plans to put closer scrutiny on what it called “vertical oscillations” (porpoising) on each car and set a metric on what is permissible on each car. It also said it was paying closer attention to the “planks and skids” of each car on the grid and their “design and observed wear”.

A meeting will also be held with the technical bosses of each team to address their concerns over porpoising.

The FIA also said its intervention had come about following consultation with its doctors and “in the interests of the safety of the drivers”.

It added: “In a sport where the competitors are routinely driving at speeds in excess of 300km/h, it is considered that all of a driver’s concentration needs to be focused on that desk and that excessive fatigue or pain experienced by a driver could have significant consequences should it result in a loss of concentration.

“In addition, the FIA has concerns in relation to the immediate physical impact on the health of the drivers, a number of whom have reported back pain following recent events.”

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