As the teams make their way to Montreal, the FIA has issued a Technical Guideline outlining how it aims to address safety concerns related to drivers’ bouncing of their cars. It is actually planned to install a measuring system that puts a limit on the strength of vertical oscillations: if the latter is too large, then the ride height will have to be raised. The directive also allowed changes to floors as early as the weekend of the Grand Prix in Montreal.
Only Mercedes was able to use the second option and set up a second reinforcement for Friday practice. However, after being asked if the FIA was following the correct procedures, the latter was withdrawn on Saturday under the threat of a protest. The situation sparked a standoff between Mercedes boss Toto Wolff and rival team managers at a meeting on Saturday morning, when he accused his colleagues of behaving in some way. “pathetic”.
Toto Wolff and Stoffel Vandoorne.
But Wolff is not alone in thinking the FIA could have handled the situation better, and some are dissatisfied with the rush of things on the eve of the Grand Prix weekend. “I think the timing of the Technical Directive is really not ideal because the whole team is traveling and everything is on the field”Aston Martin team manager Mike Krack announced. “You can react, but you have to be really sure of what you’re doing or know ahead of time what you’re going to do. So I think you should take a conservative approach in a situation like this and then examine the situation. for the next race. The timing could really be better.”
Franz Tost, head of AlphaTauri, backed up the Luxembourger’s words: “The timing was definitely not good as most people were on the road. It’s definitely not the best time to submit a Technical Instructions a few days before the race.”
Alpine skiing manager Otmar Szafnauer said not informing teams until Thursday means that any team that has not prepared an alternative to strengthen their ground is potentially at a disadvantage. “For example, I think it’s not fair to the rest of us who can’t provide support”she shared. “So we have to be careful not to change the rules of the game mid-season.” Several bosses also questioned whether the FIA’s overall plan was correct, vertical speed management and regulation seemed incredibly complex.
Frederic Vasseur at a press conference.
Alfa Romeo boss Fred Vasseur also expressed his opinion: “Honestly, I’m not sure that introducing a new Technical Guideline is the right way to go. There will still be new things we have to manage, control and master, which makes the regulations even more complicated. The cars are fast at recoil, like Ferrari and correcting like Red Bull. It’s like some teams, but the team decides where they want to go.”
Szafnauer added that each team has the option to avoid pitching immediately by simply increasing the ride height. “We face the operating constraints of these cars like everyone else”he continued. “We tend to run the car at a ride height that will allow us to achieve the performance we need without injuring the drivers or damaging the car. We drive safely. I believe every team has the opportunity to do that. Just increase the ride. It’s safe and you don’t need to do anything else. Just some He chooses not to do that and pressures the FIA to make changes.”