During pre-season testing, the Formula 1 teams faced that despite the simulations, the dolphins, that is, the constant bouncing of cars due to the new suction-based aerodynamic rules, was a serious problem on the track.
In tests, several teams (including Mercedes, for example) installed stiffeners to attach the floorboard to the bonnet in an effort to reduce the dolphins. These were not regular at first, but the FIA allowed all teams to use them at the last minute.
The news came as a real slap in the face for the Alps, as the team originally built their own floorboards to rely on dolphins. Because of this, he planned to be stiffer (and heavier) than his rivals, but by allowing stiffeners, the FIA immediately eliminated the team advantage.
It is now a disadvantage because the extra weight was wasted on a more efficient solution under the FIA decision. “What can I say? The situation is very disturbing. We don’t use stiffeners because the floorboard is very stiff, but it has been a huge help to the competitors,” said Pat Fry, technical director of Alpine.
“But that’s it, it’s also part of the game, we have to account for that in development.” At the same time, the first developments in Alpine were designed with the original rules in mind, so the team was at a disadvantage.
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