Toto Wolff is surprised by the fact that there are Formula 1 teams that have experimented with so-called flexible floors. Deflecting floors has been used by some teams as a solution against porposingbouncing the cars at high speeds.
According to the regulations, such floors are allowed. There is a maximum number of millimeters that a floor may bend, namely two millimeters. Motorsport However, now reports that suspicions have arisen after a consultation between the teams about floors that bend more than the allowed two millimeters.
Wolff ‘surprised to say the least’
There would be teams that have cleverly ensured that their floor bends no less than six millimeters. As a result, those teams can use their car with a higher rake drive, but also get as close to the ground as possible to make the most of the ground effect. This clever way of giving the floor extra flexion would reduce the risk of hitting the ground every time it bounces.
Wolff is among the group of team bosses who are puzzled by this phenomenon: “Nobody had an idea until the FIA brought it up in the last technical advisory committee, which came as a big surprise to all teams. What is in the regulations and what the intention of the regulations is, is quite clear. I mean, there’s no argument why that could distract more from what’s in the regulations. So it’s a bit of a surprise to say the least, or more of a shock.’
FIA intervenes – to Mercedes’ delight
For the Grand Prix of Great Britain this weekend, the FIA has already come up with an answer to combat the flexible floors. Its purpose was to keep the playing field level, suggesting that this was not the case initially. The two millimeter limit will be enforced more strictly, to the delight of some teams who suspected some competitors went too far.
It is unknown which teams may have benefited from the flexible floors. Mercedes chief engineer Andrew Shovlin also has positive feelings about the intervention of the FIA: “When it came to light, we realized that there are opportunities that we may not have seized yet. It won’t affect how we drive our car, but it might affect our competitors. We could get a little closer to them in satisfac- tion.’
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Update 9pm (07/07) | Verstappen responds to allegations: “Mercedes floor bends the most”
The Mercedes team has complained about the flexible floors that are currently used in Formula 1. It has not yet been made explicit which teams drive with such a floor, but are called Red Bull Racing and Ferrari. Max Verstappen finds Mercedes’ claim strange. “What I don’t quite understand is that at Mercedes they are complaining about the flexible floors while theirs is the most flexing,” the driver is quoted by Motorsport.com. The FIA will soon come up with a decision on the floors. ‘I haven’t heard anything about it yet. So I don’t know what they want to do either.’