Following Lewis Hamilton’s severe back pain during Sunday’s Azerbaijan Grand Prix, Formula One’s governing FIA said Thursday that it plans to make changes to reduce or eliminate “porposing” that affects cars this season.
The governing body said it had issued a technical directive to teams ahead of the Canadian Grand Prix this weekend to determine what they wanted to take.
This includes short-term measures such as closely examining planks and skids under the car for design and wear, as well as the definition of a metric that will determine a quantitative limit on how much a car can bounce.
The formula for determining this metric is still being analyzed, the FIA said, adding that teams have been invited to contribute to the process.
The company plans to convene a technical meeting with the parties to define measures in the medium term that will reduce the tendency of cars to “porpoise”.
No measure is expected for this weekend’s race in Montreal
“In the interest of driver safety, the FIA has decided to intervene after consulting with its doctors,” the governing body said in a statement.
“In a sport where competitors regularly drive at speeds of up to 300 km / h, it is considered that excessive fatigue or pain experienced by a driver can result in significant loss of concentration.”
The F1 has introduced a basic rule overhaul this year that has seen cars make up a significant portion of their downforce from below the floor.
This has led to “porpozing”, where cars bounce dramatically through the water at speeds as fast as a porpoise.
Teams have been affected to varying degrees, with Mercedes and Ferrari being the hardest hit.
Hamilton was seen holding his back as he pulled out of his Mercedes after the race in Baku, with team boss Toto Wolf raising the possibility of missing the Canadian race to the seven-time champion.
Hamilton, posting on social media on Monday, said he was in pain but would not miss the race in Montreal “for the world”.
Christian Horner, boss of the Red Bull team whose cars do not appear to be affected by porpoising, suggested after the Baku race that opponents could play the problem extra to secure a favorable rule change.
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