Horner: FIA’s porpoising F1 directive ‘dangerous’, unfair to change rules

Red Bull F1 team principal Christian Horner is unhappy with the FIA’s technical directive for this weekend’s Canadian Grand Prix, describing it as potentially “very dangerous”.
Christian Horner (
Christian Horner (

As a result of the continuous concerns regarding driver safety due to porpoising, the FIA introduced stricter guidelines for this weekend’s race in Montreal.

The FIA’s new rules will force teams struggling with porpoising to limit the level of “vertical oscillations” to help better protect their drivers after Lewis Hamilton suffered from back pain at last weekend’s Azerbaijan Grand Prix.

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Additionally, the FIA plans to have “closer scrutiny of the planks and skids, both in terms of their design and the observed wear”.

The directive has been met with opposing views with F1 title rivals Max Verstappen and Charles Leclerc criticising it, while both Mercedes drivers have welcomed the move.

Speaking after the second practice session in Canada, Horner felt that the FIA had made a hasty decision.

“The FIA, you can understand safety being their main concern, but to drop a technical directive like that just as we’re coming into a weekend, without any consultation, it just feels the wrong way to be going about things,” Horner told Sky. “I think there needs to be proper consultation with the experts. 

“A solution can be found. It’s a very dangerous thing to be giving the FIA the right to set up your rear ride height and your set-up going into a race. What happens if the wind changes during the race? What happens if the porpoising gets worse for whatever reason, based on the baseline they give? So it’s the metric with, how could they measure it? 

“To apply this regulation – that’s what needs to be discussed. The intent is all well and good but it’s not been introduced in the right way.”

Sergio Perez (MEX) Red Bull Racing RB18. Formula 1 World Championship, Rd 9, Canadian Grand Prix, Montreal, Canada,
Sergio Perez (MEX) Red Bull Racing RB18. Formula 1 World Championship, Rd…

Horner believes the FIA’s solution is too complicated and that there are much simpler ways to control the level of bouncing.

“There’s so many things they could do what would just be easier,” Horner explained.“ Stick a bigger plank on it, for example, that would get the cars off the ground. Trying to mitigate, judge between one car and another… maybe we’ll benefit from it, maybe we won’t, I’ve got no idea. 

“It seems a very complicated way to go about solving an issue. It’s not an issue which affects all of the teams. I think the inference should be on the teams to get it sorted. 

“There’s a set of regulations that are consistent for everybody there.”

Hypocrisy over the cost cap?

While Horner and Red Bull are keen for the porpoising-related rules to remain the same, they are keen for the cost cap to be adjusted..

Red Bull, along with Ferrari, want the cost cap to be increased.

(L to R): Christian Horner (GBR) Red Bull Racing Team Principal with Mattia Binotto (ITA) Ferrari Team Principal. Formula
(L to R): Christian Horner (GBR) Red Bull Racing Team Principal with…

A dramatic rise in inflation has led to a significant increase in costs for freight and development, putting the teams’ budgets under extra strain.

Consequently, Horner fears this year’s title race could be turned into an “accounting world championship”.

Horner dismissed any suggestions that he was being hypocritical over wanting the FIA to adjust the cost cap but not deal with the porpoising issue.

“The way you design your car is within your control,” Horner added. “That is something that you together with your group of designers, you create, you’re in control of your own destiny. 

“What we’re seeing in the world at the moment, we’re not in control of that. We’re not in control of the inflationary costs that are affecting housesholds around the world. In the UK we’re seeing predicted inflation at 11%. 

“That’s a cost of living, that’s a direct effect on staff, on raw materials, on electricity, on commodities, on supply of parts. I think it generally is a force majeure situation that the FIA needs to deal with.”

Sergio Perez (MEX), Red Bull Racing Formula 1 World Championship, Rd 9, Canadian Grand Prix, Montreal, Canada, Practice
Sergio Perez (MEX), Red Bull Racing Formula 1 World Championship, Rd 9,…

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