Red Bull boss Christian Horner says Mercedes would benefit the most from next year’s flooring rule change.
Last week, the FIA announced its intention to introduce extensive changes to the floor design regulations to completely eradicate the bounce problem. However, the proposed changes have met with great opposition from the teams, and at least six teams have already expressed their displeasure – Ferrari boss Mattia Binotto did not rule out a possible protest from the teams if the FIA continues to be persistent.
Horner believes that Mercedes – the team that struggled the most with bouncing during the season – launched the entire initiative to change the rules. He pointed out that the planned changes, which will come into force from the Belgian Grand Prix, and which concern the removal of the ‘grey areas’ around floor bending, will not affect Red Bull’s performance too much, but he also said that the proposed rule changes for 2023 are completely wrong.
“I think the problem is that they are looking for a ‘cure’ for next year. The directive (for Spa) for us is ‘neither there nor here’. There is a lot of lobbying to change the rules significantly for next year, so that one team (Mercedes) can lower the car and benefit from that concept.”
“I think it is very late to do something like that and I think the president is doing the right thing. Gathering information and I hope a reasonable solution can be found. It is too late for such fundamental changes to the rules,” said Horner.
An unnamed team boss said yesterday that Mercedes could be handed the title for next year right now, if the FIA insists on changing the regulations. The German team would supposedly gain 40% of the total downforce of the car by changing the rules. Also, the teams believe that Mercedes ‘inflated’ the bouncing problems too much in order to force the FIA to react. The vast majority of teams believe that changes to the regulations are not necessary and that the safety argument, under which the FIA wants to introduce these changes, is not valid.
Horner has a simple solution:
“Let them lift the car, it’s easy. We didn’t have a bounce problem all year – only one team had big problems. We have some of the most talented engineers in the world in this sport and I guarantee you that next year there will be no cars that will have a problem with bouncing. We don’t want to get too carried away with reactions that could have a fundamental impact on the cars for the next year,” Horner pointed out.