A phenomenon that emerged with the introduction of new technical regulations in F1 in 2022 should still be present in 2023, albeit less pronounced.
With the introduction of new technical regulations in F1 in 2022, teams have had to ensure that single-seaters are very close to the ground to maximize ground effect performance. As a result, the single seats became too stiff and suffered from the bounce problem. [marsouinage – porpoising en anglais] in straight lines. In Azerbaijan, this problem has become stronger on certain routes such as Baku.
As the season progressed, the phenomenon of porpoising became a real topic in the paddock, with riders expressing concern over whether it was a safety issue. Discussions were then held between the FIA and F1 teams and a temporary solution was found. From the Belgian Grand Prix at the end of August, the FIA began to measure the stickiness phenomenon and changed the flexibility of the center floor of single-seaters for the rest of the season.
To combat this porpoising phenomenon more effectively in the future, the FIA has approved the following measures in the 2023 technical regulations:
- The edges of the flat bottom will be raised by 15 mm.
- The height of the diffuser throat will be raised to avoid any impact on the design of the mechanical components by the groups.
- The stiffness of the edge of the diffuser will be increased.
- An additional sensor will be placed to monitor the phenomenon more effectively.
Will porpoising disappear?
It’s a difficult question to answer even before the start of the season, but when we asked Eric Blandin, deputy technical director of Aston Martin, whether the phenomenon of porpoising has completely disappeared in Formula 1 this year, the Frenchman was very clear and answered. : “It’s not going to disappear completely.”
“That’s something that’s inherent in this set of rules. You have large tunnels of air ducts under the car with a skirt created by the edge of the floor that runs very low to the ground and seals in the air. This combination makes the car vulnerable to pollution.”
“Every car wobbles to some degree, but under the current regulations, the wobble is more pronounced because of aerodynamic loading and changes in that aerodynamic loading.”
— Philippe Vandel (@PhilippeVandel) March 12, 2022
Last year, most teams failed to foresee this ugly problem and were confused by various simulation tools. Eric Blandin admits that it is very difficult to reproduce porpoising with software, which is why the teams only discovered the phenomenon after the single-seaters were on the track during winter tests.
“Simulating the problem is complicated.” adds the French. “There aren’t many tools that can do that. From a computational point of view, this cannot be predicted with normal software.”
“It’s not just about rolling a car in a wind tunnel to see if it freezes up: it doesn’t work like that because it’s a dynamic problem – the aerodynamic loads are constantly changing.”
“Throughout the 2022 campaign, we have deepened our understanding of this new generation of F1 in several areas, allowing us to identify what is driving the comebacks.
Aston Martin, seventh in the 2022 Constructors’ World Championship, used the AMR22 (2022 single-seater) as a rolling lab, and unlike the AMR23, which will be unveiled on February 13, will have more than 90% new parts . old single seater. However, until the car hits the track during pre-season testing at the end of February, there’s no way Aston Martin will know if the porkiness has completely disappeared.
“AMR22 has become a laboratory. We tested a lot on the track to deepen our understanding, and this growth in understanding was highlighted by our improved performance towards the end of last season. Blandin insists.
“Because of the way we used the car, we were able to push the limits of performance. This would not have been possible with the initial concept we had at the beginning of the season.
“We are focused on the changes in this year’s car that will prevent emissions. But we can’t guarantee that the car will work until we test it on the track. “If we are suffering from pig farming, we have several tools in our arsenal to fight it.”
“We’ve taken everything we learned from last year’s car and applied it to this year’s car. Much of the AMR23 is new, completely different from the AMR22. We have changed more than 90% of the parts and more than 95% of the aerodynamic surfaces are different.”