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Merc hope F1 change hinders Red Bull, Ferrari | ‘No doubt they pushed the rules’

Merc hope F1 change hinders Red Bull, Ferrari | 'No doubt they pushed the rules' thumbnail

The take from Mercedes and Red Bull, and explaining F1’s new regulation; there will be a new technical directive for the Belgian GP this weekend as the FIA looks to crackdown on porpoising – while there could be a performance impact at the front…

Last Updated: 24/08/22 6: 16am


George Russell believes that there is a lot to be proud about after Mercedes secured another double podium in Hungary.

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George Russell believes that there is a lot to be proud about after Mercedes secured another double podium in Hungary.

George Russell believes that there is a lot to be proud about after Mercedes secured another double podium in Hungary.

George Russell says there is “no doubt” Red Bull and Ferrari “pushed the regulations” through the first half of the season and hopes the new technical directive for the Belgian GP slows down Mercedes’ F1 rivals.

After months of discussions over concerns about the 2022 cars porpoising, a change is coming for this weekend in Spa with a new rule that is focused on driver safety and controlling the bouncing, but at the same time limits the use of ‘flexi-floors’, an area 2022’s fastest teams Red Bull and Ferrari are believed to have been exploiting as opposed to Mercedes.

The world champions have been surprisingly off the pace so far this season but insist they have been less adventurous over utilising the floor of their car, which can have a significant performance impact.

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“Spa is going to be interesting,” Russell told Sky Sports. “There’s changes to some little regulations which may bring other teams towards us.”

Mercedes have previously been tentative about referencing Red Bull and Ferrari by name and accusing their rivals, but Russell said: “There is no doubt that Ferrari and Red Bull have pushed the regulations in that regard, and we’ve respected it as the regulation was intended.”

As Formula One prepares to return after the summer break, we take a look back at how Max Verstappen built an 80-point lead over title rival Charles Leclerc.

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As Formula One prepares to return after the summer break, we take a look back at how Max Verstappen built an 80-point lead over title rival Charles Leclerc.

As Formula One prepares to return after the summer break, we take a look back at how Max Verstappen built an 80-point lead over title rival Charles Leclerc.

The Belgian GP, the first race after the summer break, is all live on Sky Sports F1 and the new technical directive adds another layer of intrigue – although whether it indeed hinders Red Bull and Ferrari remains to be seen.

“There’s no guarantees it will bring them closer to us,” admitted Russell. “We know if it was on our car, it would make us slower. Every car is different, but it’s not going to help them that’s for sure.”

While Red Bull and Ferrari have voiced their displeasure about the TD coming in, they have both been adamant that the floor changes won’t affect their performance.

“We just have to be careful we don’t overshoot here and create a big regulation change at this point of the year,” said Christian Horner before the summer break.

“I’m not worried about the technical directive. I don’t think that has any consequence for us.”

‘New rule could be worth 0.3s of lap time’ | Explaining the Belgian GP technical directive

Sky Sports F1’s Mark Hughes in his latest column, publishing Wednesday

“With quite a different upper body aero concept to Red Bull and Ferrari, Mercedes’ greater area of exposed floor was effectively a cantilever, making it much more difficult to control. Later, limitations in the mechanical aspects of the suspension became apparent in controlling the car’s ride.

“It then became clear that Ferrari and Red Bull had interpreted the regulations concerning the mounting of the underfloor plank differently and were able to allow the plank to sink further into the floor as it touched the ground, giving a cushioning effect to the ride.

Martin Brundle joins Christian Horner at his country home to discuss all things Red Bull. 

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Martin Brundle joins Christian Horner at his country home to discuss all things Red Bull. 

Martin Brundle joins Christian Horner at his country home to discuss all things Red Bull. 

“From Spa this weekend, that interpretation will no longer be considered valid.

“If, as is believed by other teams, that mounting method would make a 5-6mm lower rear ride height feasible, it would potentially be worth around 0.2-0.3s of lap time.

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“The Mercedes, even though it set pole in Hungary due to a favourable set of circumstances (no healthy Red Bulls in Q3, Ferrari way out of the tyre temperature window), was still around 0.5s off the ultimate pace.

“So the Spa TD could well help Mercedes reduce its deficit to the front, but to take on Ferrari and Red Bull on equal terms is likely going to require more development.”

Sky Sports F1’s live Belgian GP schedule

Thursday, August 25

2pm: Drivers’ Press Conference

Friday, August 26

9.25am: F3 Practice

10.35am: F2 Practice

12.30pm: Belgian GP Practice One (session starts 1pm)

2.25pm: F3 Qualifying

3.45pm: Belgian GP Practice Two (session starts 4pm)

5.25pm: F2 Qualifying

6.15pm: The F1 Show

Saturday, August 27

9.30am: F3 Sprint Race

11.45pm: Belgian GP Practice Three (session starts 12pm)

2pm: Belgian GP Qualifying Build-up

3pm: BELGIAN GP QUALIFYING

4.55pm: F2 Sprint Race

Sunday, August 28

7.45am: F2 Feature Race

9.15am: F2 Feature Race

12.30pm: Grand Prix Sunday: Belgian GP Build-up

2pm: THE BELGIAN GRAND PRIX

4pm: Chequered Flag: Belgian GP Reaction

5.30pm: Belgian GP Highlights

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