On the Friday before the Hungarian GP, team bosses and technicians met FIA President Mohammed bin Sulayem. Everyone cooks their own soup when it comes to the threatened underbody cuts for 2023.
Voting will take place on August 2nd. The FIA declares war on bouncing, although there is almost no bouncing anymore. The FIA has threatened that the edges of the underbody will be bent up by 25 millimeters and that the Venturi shafts will have a different rise at the front and rear. This is supposed to prevent the aerodynamically generated pumping at high speeds, even when the cars are generating more and more downforce.
Because it is already too late for a rule change for 2023 and the necessary 28 yes votes would never be given in the Formula 1 Commission, the world association wants to push through the announced changes under the guise of safety. Ferrari and Red Bull consider this an inadmissible pretext. There is no safety problem because bouncing is under control and measurements can be taken from Spa to show how hard and how often the cars hit the road.
Leclerc's departure due to bouncing?
Ferrari is of the opinion that the FIA must therefore comply with the voting process prescribed in the regulations by the authorities. Maranello threatens the FIA with a sugar bot and a stick if you don't follow the rules. It can be clearly demonstrated that there are no safety concerns. The carrot is a compromise proposal to bend the edges up by only ten millimeters. The whip is the threat to go before an ordinary court.
FIA President Mohammed bin Sulayem has now declared the issue a top priority. He had spoken to many drivers over the past few weeks. Three days before the World Council meeting, bin Sulayem was a sought-after man. Team bosses and technicians handed each other over in the executive office. And everyone was diligently involved in politics on their own behalf.
Mercedes is in favor of the strict interpretation and justifies it by saying that 16 of the 20 drivers warn of an increased risk of accidents. The risk of losing control if the car hits the road at an awkward moment is greater than it used to be. Mercedes are convinced that the accidents involving Mick Schumacher and Daniel Ricciardo in Monte Carlo happened for precisely this reason.
And also that of Charles Leclerc in Paul Ricard. The video from Leclerc's on-board camera is shown as proof. Accordingly, the car touches down clearly audibly on the track three times, which forces Leclerc onto the dirty lane. Then he loses his car. Ferrari and Red Bull say one has nothing to do with the other.
Newey enlightens the FIA President
The bosses of the small teams warn the President about the high costs of the conversion measures. Red Bull even says that half the car has to be rebuilt."That turns the aerodynamics upside down," fears sports director Helmut Marko. According to Red Bull team boss Christian Horner, the intervention comes far too late. "It's ten minutes past midnight."
He also fears that the measures taken by the FIA will give the Mercedes W13 concept an advantage. From Mercedes' point of view, Ferrari and Red Bull are only making so much noise because they are investing so much money in the 2022 World Cup duel that there is hardly any money left for a parallel program in the wind tunnel and they are therefore afraid of paying for it next year .
Horner took his tech guru Adrian Newey with him to the President's visit to present bin Sulayem with an engineer's perspective and to feed him with Newey's expertise on what the consequences of such a measure could be. Ferrari colleague Mattia Binotto refers to the opinion of the engineers. "At a meeting of technical engineers, the majority was in favor of our compromise proposal." Horner believes: "In the end, as always in our business, we will end up with a compromise. The only question is what that will look like."