FIA avoids F1’s bumpy ride

2023 Hungarian Grand Prix, Friday - LAT Images

The FIA will not intervene in the bump-induced crashes of last year as they head into the 2024 F1 season. According to an article by Jonathan Noble over at Autosport, the FIA is steering clear of the issue.

The 2022 season may have been steeped in porpoising and bouncing but 2023 saw a reduction in that particular characteristic. That’s goo but the teams still found a way, and they need to with the new ground effect aero designs, to run their cars closer to the ground without the porpoising effect.

That’s all good but late-season crashes from Lando Norris in Las Vegas and Carlos Sainz in Abu Dhabi were bump induced issues and the question was put before the FIA if they would intervene with a ride height clarification.

Asked about bumps causing crashes, FIA director Nikolas Tombazis said: “Well, we do need to make sure circuits, generally speaking, avoid features which may cause that.

“It’s a thin line between if maybe there is the possibility for the circuit to sort out some features in detail, and where the teams may just need to raise the car a bit more.

“We obviously will try to fix these areas of the circuits.

“Are the cars too low? Yes, we would rather they were running a bit higher.

“But the inherent characteristic of a ground effect car is that it tends to have more performance running low. So that’s something that I don’t think we can easily avoid.”

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The interesting element here is the FIA not wanting to be involved in what many would say is a safety issue, how do you see it? x

Jonathan makes a good point in the article about the reduced ride height and the impact it also had on the skid blocks where Lewis Hamilton and Charles Leclerc were DSQ’d at the USGP so you know they are running their cars very low.

According to Tombazis, there are limits to where the FIA can get involved but he reckons it may be back on the discussion docket for the new regulations in 2026 saying:

“Sometimes we want to do things but we still need to go through governance and the teams need to vote for it – and we don’t have enough support. So, for 2026, we believe we need to simplify very much that area.”

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