Formula One Faces Safety Concerns Amidst New Aero Regulations

Formula One Faces Safety Concerns Amidst New Aero Regulations
Image © John David Mercer-USA TODAY Sports
Frank Weber
Frank Weber
May 19th 2023

Going 200 mph in a car that weighs less than a loaf of bread has never been more dangerous. It may sound weird, but give me a second to explain myself.

Thanks to the new aerodynamic regulations that were implemented prior to this year’s F1 season, several drivers across different teams have been complaining of injuries due to porpoising. Porpoising is when the car moves up and down in a violent manner, caused by the stalling of airflow beneath the cars. 

Porpoising isn’t anything new to F1, but it’s never been this prevalent–and these new aerodynamic regulations are to blame. 

 “It is not healthy, that is for sure,” AlphaTauri driver Pierre Gasly said. “With literally no suspension, it is going through your spine. At the end of the day, my team is saying we can compromise the setup or compromise my health for performance.”

This isn’t just a middle-pack problem though. F1 giants Mercedes have been dealing with performance issues more than any other team, and 7-time F1 champion Lewis Hamilton has spoken up about it. 

“This is a joint problem that we are having in Formula 1,” he said. “It is a design issue, and a fundamental design issue, that needs to be solved.”

“That is, since the beginning of the season, racedrivers have been complaining about pain in driving these cars,” he said. “Back pain, blurred vision — we are talking about microconcussions.”

F1 attempted to push the pace with these cars this year, and the cars are pushing back. Seeing as how we’re already nine races into the year already, it might be a little too late to make changes. 

This weekend you can be sure to check out the porpoising for yourself at the British GP. The Grand Prix is set to kick off on Sunday, July 3rd, at 10 AM est.

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