F1 will do tougher roll hoop testing after Zhou crash

LONDON: The governing body of Formula One said on Friday it would introduce tougher tests on car roll bars next season in the wake of Chinese driver Guanyu Zhou’s major crash at the British Grand Prix.

Zhou’s Alfa Romeo overturned and slid headfirst across the track at Silverstone, with the roll bar ripped off, before going over a tire wall and becoming wedged between the barriers and safety fence.

The rookie escaped unharmed, his head protected from serious injury by the titanium halo device surrounding the cockpit.

The FIA ​​said its Technical Advisory Committee (TAC) met on Thursday to represent the teams, governing body and commercial rights holders.

“The teams confirmed their readiness to introduce more stringent measures on the roll bars for 2023 and the FIA ​​​​committed to complete the relevant analyzes and communicate new requirements for the safety of the roll bars to the teams,” it said.

The TAC also discussed the vertical oscillation of cars, commonly known as ‘porpoises’ – jumping at high speeds like a porpoise moving through water.

The aerodynamic phenomenon was a consequence of this year’s major rule revision.

Champions Mercedes have been particularly hard hit, although they seem to have addressed some of the worst effects, and the FIA ​​warned a more serious problem looms next season.

“While the problem has appeared to be reduced in the last few races, they have taken place at circuits where the impact is expected to be less than normal,” the governing body said.

“Races where this effect is expected to be even higher will take place in the coming months.

“As teams gain a better understanding of how to control the issue, the trend for 2023 as cars develop more downforce will most likely be a worsening of the effect.”

The measures, to be taken from next month’s Belgian Grand Prix, are not necessarily a long-term solution and the FIA ​​will introduce further changes for 2023.

These included raising the floor edges of cars by 25mm, stricter lateral floor deflection tests and a more accurate sensor “to quantify aerodynamic vibration”.