FIA to complete tougher F1 roll-hoops tests after Zhou’s British GP crash

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The governing body has promised to impose stricter testing as a direct result of Zhou Guanyu’s accident at the British Grand Prix, which saw the Chinese driver’s Alfa Romeo rollbar fail after contact with the track with a force surpassing anything before. to provide.

Alfa Romeo has been working closely with the FIA ​​since the crash, while other teams have also been consulted and asked for feedback on possible changes to the wording of the regulations.

The topic will be discussed at a specially convened meeting of the FIA’s technical advisory committee chaired by Nikolas Tombazis, head of single-seater affairs.

One possible outcome could be a shift from the “spike” hoop design that the rules allowed until now. Alfa Romeo is the only team to use it in 2022.

Any rule changes should be confirmed as soon as possible to give teams enough time to ensure their chassis designs pass the more rigorous testing before 2023.

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A complication could be that some teams have considered transferring their 2022 chassis as a cost-cutting measure, and now need to adapt.

At the recent French GP, Alfa Romeo technical director Jan Monchaux confirmed that the Swiss outfit is working closely with the FIA.

“The analysis is still ongoing, we have been working with the FIA ​​since day one to try to reconstruct the accident and assess it as best we can,” he said when asked by TBEN about progress.

“Because it’s not an easy task, the power that comes with it. For the time being, the internal investigations have not yet been completed, so I will not reveal anything. And if anyone discloses anything, it will be the FIA.

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Alfa Romeo C42 of Zhou Guanyu after his crash

Photo By: Mark Sutton / Motorsport Images

“In the meantime, the FIA ​​has asked all teams to provide feedback, putting different load cases on their respective roller hoops to understand where there is in fact room for improvement.

“The load cases imposed by the rules, you have some vectors where you have to apply a force to the front and the back of your rollbar [that] may not be best suited to the kind of accident we’ve had, where you’re basically sliding a car, so subjected to fairly flat forces, rather than some sort of vertical impact.

“So there could be changes here in the future. But I believe the FIA ​​will come back for the shutdown [summer break] with some new recommendations, additional tests. We’ll have to see what they’ll take from the feedback from all the teams.”

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McLaren technical director James Key acknowledged that the forces involved in the Zhou crash were unprecedented.

“I understand it’s very complicated to derive tax cases from this,” he said. “But the FIA ​​is certainly working hard to help the teams divert another test.

“That was a pretty terrifying situation with a unique set of conditions, and something like that will always draw new conclusions from a safety point of view, which is exactly what the teams and the FIA ​​are discussing for next year.

“I suspect, as mentioned, we’re going to have some form of additional lateral load testing or something like that, which we have to pass before 2023.”

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