Horner: Black flag dangerously porpoising cars

Michelle Foster
Adrian Newey in conversation with Christian Horner, relaxed. Montreal June 2022

Red Bull design guru Adrian Newey in conversation with Christian Horner, relaxed. Montreal June 2022

Red Bull team boss Christian Horner has made it clear he won’t give the go-ahead to allow porpoising teams an opportunity to fix their cars even if it doesn’t impact their performances.

In fact, he reckons if the FIA deems their porpoising to be dangerous, then they should show them the black flag.

Formula 1 is split over the porpoising issue with some teams applauding the FIA for stepping in and issuing a new technical directive ahead of the Canadian GP, while others feel the rules shouldn’t be changed mid-season.

Red Bull fall under the latter with Max Verstappen telling Racer that if teams “can’t design the car properly for that then that’s your fault, it’s not the regs fault”.

His team boss Horner had previously said he feels a large part of the porpoising complaints are teams urging their drivers to “b*tch” about it in order to force the FIA’s hand.

That is exactly what happened on the eve of the Canadian GP with a new TD released aimed at protecting the drivers that states that all the cars must run within an “acceptable level of vertical oscillations”.

Those that don’t, Auto Motor und Sport reports, will have to raise their ride height by 10mm.

It is a TD that is likely to hurt Mercedes more than their rivals, however, Horner isn’t at all sympathetic towards their plight.

Asked by Sky Sports if Red Bull would allow the teams suffering with porpoising to fix the problem if it didn’t affect performance, GPFans quotes him as having said: “The answer to that is no, you can’t.

“It’s the same rules for everybody. Some cars have the issues, some cars don’t.

“For the ones that don’t, inevitably there will be a push to try and get regulations changed. That’s the nature of the game. That’s the nature of Formula 1 and you can understand James [Allison, Mercedes chief technical officer] pushing for that.

“It would be unfair to have what effectively would deem to be a regulation change halfway through the year because a team has missed the target.

“The onus should be on that team to sort the issue out.”

And if they can’t, the team boss reckons “if that car is dangerous, that’s down to the FIA. They still have a black flag in their armoury.

“If they deemed a car was dangerous or unacceptable for a driver’s safety, they would – and should – black flag it.”