Horner not happy with FIA’s intervention on porpoising

Henry Valantine
Christian Horner watches on from the garage. Barcelona, May 2022.

Red Bull's Christian Horner observes from inside the team's garage during the Spanish Grand Prix. Barcelona, May 2022.

Christian Horner has called for clarity surrounding the FIA’s technical directive to reduce porpoising on the 2022 cars, and believes such “regulatory changes” should not take place during a season.

The Red Bull team principal has previously voiced his concerns around the directive, which is due to enforce a limit on the number of vertical oscillations – or the amount a car can ‘bounce’ – to protect driver welfare.

Data was gathered by the FIA during the Canadian Grand Prix weekend, with the directive set to come into force from the French Grand Prix on the weekend of 22-24 July.

Horner believes the FIA bringing in new rules such as this, that would fundamentally change car set-up, is a “dangerous avenue” for the sport to go down, due to the limits placed on how teams can experiment with how they run their cars.

Coupled with that, he feels the lack of specific details could be problematic, and there are significant elements to iron out when the F1 Commission meets this Friday.

“Well, this is the problem, isn’t it? That regulations need to be black and white,” Horner told The Race at the weekend when asked for his opinion on the FIA enforcing a rule which was not explicitly included in the 2022 regulations.

“I think we end up with encyclopaedias that sometimes are way too complicated, and there’s no such thing as the intent of the regulations. It’s a binary thing.

“So, the F1 Commission meeting, there’s many things to discuss on the agenda, maybe two hours won’t quite be enough.”

Horner emphasised his belief that the RB18 will “fully conform” to the new rule when it is in place, and no structural changes to the car will be necessary.

He did not give a direct answer as to whether or not Red Bull would launch a full challenge against the new directive, but feels the teams would be able to rectify the issue among themselves, instead of the FIA getting involved.

“I think the process is the thing to discuss as well,” he said. “Because a TD [technical directive] shouldn’t be regulatory changes.

“There’s a governance and a process for that. So I think we just need to talk through exactly why [it is considered necessary].

“It didn’t look like it was a lot of porpoising in this race [at Silverstone]. So, teams will sort it out, and I don’t feel it needs the intervention of a TD.”