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Formula 1 Hungarian GP

F1 risks "wackier" floor ideas amid 2023 rules row

Formula 1 risks teams pursuing “wackier” floor designs for 2023 if the FIA does not get planned rule changes properly sorted, warns Red Bull boss Christian Horner.

Lando Norris, McLaren MCL36

Amid an ongoing row between teams and motor racing's governing body over an intention to change the floor regulations for next season to help combat porpoising, there is a growing impatience for a final decision to be taken.

Teams fear that it is already too late for the FIA to push through with its original intention to raise the floor edges by 25mm, and there has been talk of a legal challenge if that scale of revision goes ahead.

But speaking at the Hungarian Grand Prix, Horner suggested that it was important the FIA ensured that any action it took does not risk unintended consequences of forcing teams to pursue tricks.

"It's not just about the raising of the floor height, or the [diffuser] throat height, which can have an impact into components that you wish to even carry over for next year," explained Horner.

"I think that there are other aspects regarding increasing the load test on the leading edge of the floor, for example.

"We don't want to get into some aeroelastic race that, whilst the height of the floor is raised, the elasticity becomes the flavour of the day, and we all end up chasing wackier elastic concepts.

"I think it's important that the whole package in its entirety is dealt with, rather than cherry picking single elements."

FIA president Mohammed Ben Sulayem is understood to have taken personal responsibility for sorting a compromise over the floor issue, and teams hope a definitive answer can be sorted before the summer shutdown.

Horner reckoned, however, that things were already too late for the scale of changes that have been initially suggested – although he downplayed the prospect of the matter going to court.

Christian Horner, Team Principal, Red Bull Racing

Christian Horner, Team Principal, Red Bull Racing

Photo by: Patrick Vinet / Motorsport Images

"I think nobody wants to end up in a legal challenge," he added. "I think that there just needs to be a bit of common sense and a bit of compromise.

"I think that the problem is, again, within the current regulations, you have different amounts of windtunnel time available based on where you are in the championship, and at this late call in the day, I mean, we're at 10 past midnight for next year.

"If you're looking at a fundamental change, that can have significant consequences. So I think that there is an appetite, hopefully, for a sensible compromise."

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Aston Martin team principal Mike Krack concurred that time was pressing for teams to know what the 2023 rules are.

"I don't think there will be a legal fight between the parties," he said. "I think we will find a solution as we have done with many things lately.

"But, as Christian rightly said, it is 10 past 12 and we really need to move on."

Ferrari is known to be unhappy with the planned floor changes for next year, as it reckoned it made things difficult for its 2023 car.

"We are very late in the day to change cars for next year," said racing director Laurent Mekies.

"Most of us will be already in the final stages of our programmes. It [porpoising] is pretty much a non problem now for quite a few races. So it will be rather awkward to impose a design change now."

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