Helmut Marko: TD ‘backfired’ on Mercedes, must solve their own issues

Helmut Marko suggested Mercedes had inside information about an FIA technical directive but claims “it came back like a boomerang.”

On the eve of the Canadian Grand Prix, the sport’s regulator announced a change in the rules which was designed to limit the amount of bouncing the drivers were being forced to endure.

A statement from the FIA read: “A Technical Directive has been issued to give guidance to the teams about the measures the FIA intends to take to tackle the problem. These include:

“1. Closer scrutiny of the planks and skids, both in terms of their design and the observed wear.

“2. The definition of a metric, based on the car’s vertical acceleration, that will give a quantitative limit for acceptable level of vertical oscillations. The exact mathematical formula for this metric is still being analysed by the FIA, and the Formula 1 teams have been invited to contribute to this process.

“In addition to these short-term measures, the FIA will convene a technical meeting with the Teams in order to define measures that will reduce the propensity of cars to exhibit such phenomena in the medium term.”

While the data was just being collected in Montreal and the rules would not be enforced until Silverstone, the lateness of the announcement meant all but one team did not have time to change their cars in line with the new regulation.

 

That one team was Mercedes, who raised suspicion when they appeared with a different floor during one of the practice sessions before swapping it back out.

Red Bull’s Marko has suggested the team must have received inside information in order to get the replacement ready in time.

“I was very surprised when I saw their floor with that second support,” Marko told the Dutch edition of Motorsport.com.

“When the technical directive came out, it was clear that there would not be enough time to supply such a part.

Marko was reportedly then asked if he believed Mercedes have inside information and he replied: “Otherwise you can’t explain what happened.”

The 79-year-old also suggested that although Mercedes had been the team that had campaigned the hardest for new rules to be introduced, they may find it does not work in their favour. “It could come back like a boomerang,” he is quoted as saying.

He also agreed with Max Verstappen that a technical directive should not be introduced mid-season.

“I fully agree with Max. And on top of that there is this: the FIA cannot go and determine our set-ups. In fact, changing the ride height means changing the set-up and the FIA cannot do that at all.

“My next point is that it is because one team has problems. That team should solve those problems itself, in any case it should not have an effect on other teams.

“We already have rules for it and those rules apply to everyone. If someone can’t solve it, then that’s their own problem. By the way, it’s very easy to fix: you just have to put the car higher, although of course you’ll be slower.”

Mercedes did show an improvement last time out in Montreal with Lewis Hamilton earning his second podium of the season while George Russell finished one spot behind him in P4.

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