F1 drivers should go home if cars are ‘too stiff for them’

AlphaTauri team principal Franz Tost says Formula 1 drivers need to train more to cope with the tougher driving of this year’s cars or go home and watch the races on TV.

Tost said former drivers tolerated equally uncomfortable cars when ground effects were previously used in Formula 1.

“Now the drivers are complaining about it,” he said. “On the one hand, I can understand that it’s not so easy for them. On the other hand, it is a Formula 1 car.

“I remember when the ‘wing cars’ were there, there was a driver who came to see me on Sunday evenings and said ‘tomorrow I have to go to the dentist because I’m losing my fillings on the bend because the cars are so hard to drive.’ This is nothing new.

He said drivers will have to train harder to deal with the rebound, and believes the technical directive issued by the FIA ​​this week will help address the issue.

“First of all, the riders need to do more training for the neck muscles and for the gluteus maximus, so that definitely helps,” Tost said. “And the FIA ​​is now coming up with this technical guideline which of course will help determine the magnitude of the forces and then when they create that metric we can maybe find a way to reduce the bouncing and the forces that are coming to drivers.

“To what extent this can be controlled, I don’t know yet. But at Scuderia AlphaTauri we support the FIA, we will give them the data and then we will see what the result could be.”

However, he thinks drivers will also have to learn to tolerate the harsher shocks created by the current generation of cars.

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“These are Formula 1 cars,” Tost said. “It’s not a Rolls-Royce, and drivers should be aware of that.

Gallery: Practice for the 2022 Canadian Grand Prix in pictures

“If the cars are too steep or it’s too difficult for them, maybe they should stay at home in the living room, sit in the armchair, then they can do the shopping on TV or somewhere else, I do not know.”

The porpoising and background pilots who have suffered since the start of the year have emerged as a problem due to the new technical regulations that have been introduced for this season. Tost said this outcome was expected.

“When these new regulations were created, it was clear from the start that these cars would not be easy to drive,” he said.

“Why? Because this floor with a kind of venturi [principle] requires the car setup to be fairly stiff, the cars to be fairly close to the surface, and the front and rear ride height to be fairly low. At least you gain a lot of performance if the car is tuned as low as possible and as hard as possible.

“On top of that you have the 18-inch tyres, so clearly there’s less damping coming from the tires and the cars aren’t as comfortable to drive as they used to be.”

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Canadian Grand Prix 2022

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