The new breed of 2022 Formula One cars caused stir in the early part of this season. ‘Porposing’ was the talk of the paddock and even drivers like Lewis Hamilton were so badly affected by the vertical oscillations of his car he struggled to extricate himself from his cockpit following the chequered flag in Baku.
The reason ‘proposing’ occurs is because teams like to run their cars as close to the ground to maximise the downforce from the negative air pressure created under the floor of the F1 cars. Then when the car hits a bump, it breaks the air seal sucking the car to the ground and sets off a series of veridical oscillations.
Such was the noise made by the likes of George Russell, chairman of the GPDA, that the FIA intervened changing the rules mid season on ‘safety grounds’.
A metric was introduced to measure the amount of bouncing each car was doing.
The FIA contacted the teams stating, “Any car whose AOM (Aerodynamic Oscillation Metric) exceeds the stipulated AOM [limit] will be reported to the stewards with the recommendation that they be excluded from the results of the sprint or race.”
As the F1 teams got to grips with the new aerodynamic ground effect cars they were able to set them up better to reduce the ‘porpoising’.
However, concerns have been raised prior to the Singapore GP because the circuit is similar to the one in Baku. It was here the cars were at their worst and there’s been no substantial test. Since Azerbaijan until this weekend.
In a bizarre decision, the FIA have decided to alter the metric to allow for the bumpy tracks in Singapore and Austin. This will mean the cars are less likely to fail the limit of vertical oscillations allowed while actually ‘proposing’ more than in recent weeks.
The AOM calculation as an average over a distance – initially this was set to 10 J/kg per 100km.
Metric now changed
On particular bumpy circuits a single strike will significantly raise the average of the AOM quickly, so the FIA have decided from now on that there will be a top limit of 7G attributed to readings. Any single strike above that limit will not be included in the calculation.
Given the metric was introduced to ensure the teams set up and designed their cars to reduce ‘proposing’ it seems entirely counter productive when Formula One arrives at a bumpy circuit to increase the limit allowed for bouncing.
The whole idea following Baku was to reduce bouncing.
Now we find a few huge big G-Force hits per lap are now acceptable to the FIA but lots of little ones adding up to the same effect are not.
— Formula 1 (@F1) September 28, 2022