London, July 15 (IANS) The motorsports governing body, FIA, will introduce tougher tests on the roll hoops of cars from next season after F1 team Alfa Romeo driver Zhou Guanyu’s British Grand Prix crash at Silverstone earlier this month.
The safety of the roll hoop came under scrutiny after Zhou flipped over onto the structure and was involved in a race-start collision with Mercedes’ George Russell at Silverstone. It was then trapped in a small gap in front of the catch fencing and spectators.
After a nervous wait, Zhou was eventually recovered from the car and, incredibly, was cleared of any significant injuries.
At the latest Technical Advisory Committee (TAC) meeting, which includes the FIA, F1 and the technical directors from the 10 teams, the safety concerns were discussed and new measures were agreed upon to ensure the roll hoop will be more robust should there be a repeat accident.
“The teams confirmed their availability to introduce more stringent measures on the roll hoops for 2023, and the FIA undertook to complete the relevant analyses and to communicate to the teams’ new requirements for the safety of the roll hoop,” it said.
The TAC also discussed the vertical oscillation of cars, commonly known as ‘porpoising’ — bouncing at speed like the movement of a porpoise through the water. The aerodynamic phenomenon has been a consequence of this year’s major rules overhaul.
Mercedes have been particularly affected, although they appear to have resolved some of the worst effects, and the FIA warned there was a risk of a more serious problem next season.
“While the issue has been seemingly reduced in the last few races, they took place at circuits where the effect is expected to be lower than normal,” the governing body said.