Alpine got his car right for 2022, but F1 changed the rules mid-game and now Fernando Alonso suffers

That Formula 1 and the FIA ​​​​have a rather peculiar way of proceeding is nothing new. Changing the rules in the middle of the game is an unfortunate scourge that the premier class of motorsports has had to deal with on too many occasions, and what has happened this year to the Alpine team It’s just one more sample.

Purely by chance, Alpine hit the nail on the head with its car for 2022. It decided to go for a wide design and a very heavy bottom that would give them more rigidity and allow them to roll much closer to the ground. But along the way, they inadvertently found that they were the only team that had avoided el ‘porpoising‘, the great unexpected setback of the preseason.

Alpine opted for a heavier floor and avoided ‘porpoising’, but the FIA ​​knocked it down

Ocon Hamilton Monaco F1 2022

Basically, the ‘porpoising’ is a rocking of the car. The aerodynamic load generated by the bottom of the single-seater is activated and deactivated at high speed as the car varies its height, interrupting and releasing the passage of air under the vehicle. Some pilots have left the sessions dizzy. The loss of time is remarkable.

All teams ran into this issue in the preseason. All but one, Alpine. “We were going for the stiffness of the ground, because the stiffer it is the lower you can ride. We did not try to avoid ‘porpoising’, but now we understand that we succeed“said Pat Fry, Alpine’s technical director.

Pat Fry Alpine F1 2022

The British technician goes on to explain that “the ‘porpoising’ and its severity caught everyone by surprise. The truth is that we did not see it in the scale models nor did we have those problems in the simulator. But the way we designed our car made us much less sensitive than others to the problem “.

Alpine opted to sacrifice the weight of its car, which was known to be a problem in 2022, looking for more downforce. And, unintentionally, he found a solution for what was really going to be the great scourge of, at least, the first races of the season. But then the FIA ​​came along.

Mercedes F1 2022

Faced with the complaint of most of the teams, the FIA ​​allowed in the middle of the preseason that it could be place a brace that directly joined the floor of the car with the chassissomething totally forbidden. Thus, the ground would gain rigidity and vibrations would be reduced in a simple way without the teams having to squeeze their heads or change their cars.

“Our floor is ten times heavier than necessary, but then the FIA ​​decided to add the tie rods. We could stop the ‘porpoising’, but this regulation change was a relief for all the teams but for us. Things here are like that”, explained Fry. Now almost no team suffers from ‘porpoising’.

Bottas Miami F1 2022

While some team like Alfa Romeo boast of having the only car on the grid that does not exceed the weight mandatory minimum of the FIA ​​and they show off the brace that joins the floor to the chassis of the car, the first improvement that Alpine had to introduce in its car was a lighter soilwhich arrived in Imola and only for Fernando Alonso.

Mercedes is another team that has benefited greatly. They were the ones who suffered the most ‘porpoising’ in the preseason, but thanks to the tight Lewis Hamilton he was able to be on the podium in the first race and, little by little, they are closing the gap with Ferrari and Red Bull. Formula 1 is like that: sometimes getting it right goes against your own interests.

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I started to play with tech since middle school. Smart phones, laptops and gadgets are all about my life. Besides, I am also a big fan of Star War. May the force be with you!

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