Mercedes to scrap second-floor stay amid threat of F1 protest

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Following a technical directive from the FIA ​​on the eve of the Montreal weekend to help reduce porpoising, F1 teams have been told they could add a second stay to help stiffen their floor.

Mercedes were the only team to choose to go this route, as they tested an interim solution on George Russell’s car during free practice on Friday.

But Mercedes’ actions caught the attention of rival teams, who questioned whether or not the FIA ​​had followed the correct processes in allowing the extra stay to be fitted.

Although the FIA ​​has the right to unilaterally change the regulations for safety reasons, this process was not followed by the actual changed rules for the Montreal weekend.

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This theoretically meant that the advisory TD allowing a second stay went against the technical regulations, which limit teams to a single stay.

Some of Mercedes’ rivals believed that if the team held the qualifying and race stay there might be grounds for the team to protest as the rules did not match the TD’s view.

Alpine team principal Otmar Szafnauer backed that view ahead of Saturday’s track action in Montreal.

Comparative new Mercedes W13 floor

Photo by: Giorgio Piola

“As far as the process is concerned, this is a technical guideline – and technical guidelines, as we all know, are not regulations,” he said.

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“So it could very well be that we shouldn’t be running that in qualifying in the race. If the teams brought those stays, I imagine maybe they could be looked at and protested. So it’s contrary to the rules as they are today.

“We definitely don’t have that. And unfortunately if you have an extra stay you can drive the car lower and stiffer, and gain some advantage.”

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While Mercedes’ commitment to organize the stays could have spurred its rivals into action, the team avoided controversy by opting not to continue with it for the remainder of the Canadian GP weekend for performance reasons.

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The version of the team she tested in training did not bring the hoped-for step forward, so the team reverted to the single stay allowed by the rules.

The FIA ​​could opt to push through a formal change to the regulations for the next race at Silverstone to explicitly allow second stays, with a meeting of the World Motor Sport Council scheduled before the British Grand Prix which could approve the changes rules.

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