Floor Stay Regulation Change Ahead of 2022 Season Frustrated Alpine Team – Pat Fry

Pat Fry admitted it was frustrating that the FIA allowed extra floor stays ahead of the 2022 FIA Formula 1 World Championship in an attempt to reduce porpoising, feeling it compromised the BWT Alpine F1 Team as they had designed a stiffer floor that did not suffer as badly with it as their rivals.

Fry, the Chief Technical Officer at the Enstone-based team, felt the rule change aided a lot of Alpine’s rivals, calling it a ‘let-off’ as other teams complained about their floors offering too much flexing.

Heading into the season opener in Bahrain, only Alpine, Oracle Red Bull Racing, Williams Racing and the Aston Martin Aramco Cognizant Formula One Team ran without the floor stays, although the last two teams had them in place by the time of the second race in Saudi Arabia.

Alpine had gone a different way with their floor design and perhaps started the season with one that was too rigid, according to Fry, but the rule change enabled them to develop a lighter floor later in the season.

“We were worried about some of the flow structures,” said Fry to The Race. “But, if anything, we were a little bit too cautious, maybe.

“It certainly looks like other people were too much the other way to start with and that was for all the reasons of the first test and people claiming the bounce and all of that.  I’m still annoyed that they allowed the extra floor stay [in] a change of rules.

“We had designed a stiff floor. The others could have done that or they could have thrown kilos at it to fix it. It was a let-off for a lot of teams.”

Fry believes Alpine may have had an even better start to the season had the regulation not changed, although he knows that the teams that had started with the extreme flexing would have found other solutions quickly.

However, the other teams opted to push for the rule change so they could run their car lower to the ground rather than find that solution ahead of the start of the season.

“I would have thought so,” said Fry.  “Then you don’t have to lift the car another 10 millimetres or something.

“It was all within their realm to have fixed it and solve the problem but they chose not to [in order] to run the car lower.”