FIA president Ben Sulayem seeks swift action on ‘porpoising’
FIA President Mohammed Ben Sulayem says his stance on Formula 1 driver health and safety is part of a clear vision for the federation, and motorsport’s future, which he will back with decisive action.
From next weekend’s Belgian Grand Prix, new measures will be in place to address the physical effect on drivers from the aerodynamic bouncing of F1 cars known as ‘porpoising’.
Ben Sulayem implemented a revised Technical Directive covering the measuring and monitoring of the vertical forces acting on the cars, or ‘porpoising’, after extensive consultation with F1 teams, drivers and his own FIA technical and medical staff.
His handling of the issue has drawn international media acclaim. It follows his decision earlier in the season to enforce a long-standing rule preventing drivers from wearing jewelry when competing, to protect them in the event of a crash.
“This is not just the way forward for driver health and safety in F1 – it’s the direction the FIA must take to ensure a better future for motor sport overall,” he said.
“We have a responsibility to do what is in the best interests of the sport, and I’ll work closely with all our main stakeholders to get their input on all key decisions.”
“But I won’t back away from any big issues. I’ll confront them, discuss with my own team, make the right decisions and back them with decisive action.”
What is porpoising?
When a F1 car goes on track, the downforce tends to lower the car height even more. Initially this phenomenon is favorable, the downforce generated by the bottom increases, but as soon as the critical height of the stall is reached, the problems begin. As soon as the downforce produced collapses, the car raises from ground. When you increase the ride height, however, the bottom is no longer stalled and the downward aerodynamic force increases, making the car lower again. This creates an oscillating movement of the car along the transverse axis. A hysteresis cycle is obtained on the dowforce value, the machine starts to oscillate and porpoising is born.
Ben Sulayem, who took over as FIA President last December, has an overall strategy aimed at doubling global motorsport participation within four years, and his actions have been winning plaudits from F1 journalists in particular.
He places a heavy emphasis on grass roots and regional motorsport development, as well as diversity initiatives, and wants to ensure that FIA championships leave legacies wherever they compete.
There are challenges at every turn, but he faces up to them with conviction. After 100 days in office Ben Sulayem wrote to member club presidents to say that operating losses will completely overwhelm the FIA’s resources in the next five years if allowed to continue.
“We need to make tough decisions in our portfolio, and in the way the organisation is structured and works,” he said. “Together we can only improve the sport, and to improve the sport we must be all together.”
“There’s a long way to go, and we have to deliver for the new generation. That means we have to update our rules accordingly, not just for F1, but for motor sport as a whole.”
Ben Sulayem’s desire to drive the FIA forward with strong, decisive leadership applies equally to the federation’s role and responsibilities in tourism, mobility and road safety.
In order to ensure continuity for FIA initiatives, he has ordered the recruitment of a full-time CEO to help drive the federation’s approach in the years ahead.
He also believes intensive training is essential to deliver a steady follow of highly qualified individuals who can share responsibilities in key areas across the FIA.
This approach began with the appointment of two alternating F1 race directors, which Ben Sulayem emphasises is only a start. Similarly, he wants the virtual race control that he instituted to trickle down to other race series.
When F1 proposed in increase from three to six sprint races for next year, Ben Sulayem demanded further details on the financial and operational implications on organising clubs and officials.
“Many race officials and marshals are club members, and we have a duty of care towards them,” he says. “I did not say no more sprint races. I left the door open, but only if we understand the implications. I owe that to the clubs.”
He believes, meanwhile, that expanding the scope of the FIA University, which previously focused only on mobility, will crucially give more people the chance of career opportunities in motor sport.
“The university now includes sport, and I would like to see it include engineering as well,” he said. “Not everyone is going to be a Formula 1 or WRC champion. But there are people who can be involved in the motorsport community when it comes to education, and engineering.”
“We must help those who have the talent, but currently do not have the opportunity. This is where we have to go in the future.”
Taxi booking will be 80% online in ‘smart’ Dubai city
Dubai’s Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) has endorsed a plan to shift from conventional taxis’ street-hail to e-hail services, aiming for an 80 per cent e-hail adoption rate in the coming years.
The decision stems from the success of Hala e-hailing rides, which accounted for 30 per cent of all taxi trips in Dubai in 2022.
Mattar Al Tayer, Director-General, Chairman of the Board of Executive Directors of the RTA, said, “the expansion of taxi e-hail services, as opposed to street-hailing, reinforces the government’s goal of transforming Dubai into the world’s smartest city. This step also aligns with the worldwide shift in urban transportation planning, focusing on improving individual mobility, decreasing dependence on private cars, fostering happiness among residents, delivering outstanding services to visitors, and boosting customer satisfaction.”
E-hailing has emerged as the most efficient means of matching taxi supply with demand and providing customers with hassle-free, efficient taxi services.
Al Tayer said the service boosts the efficiency of taxi operations by streamlining the process of locating and booking rides electronically, which leads to a higher percentage of trips with shorter waiting times of 3.5 minutes or less, thereby increasing customer happiness and satisfaction while reducing wasted mileage, fuel consumption, and carbon emissions.
He added that customers can also benefit from other features such as seamless in-app e-payment, optimal route selection, trip-sharing options, access to driver and vehicle details, and the ability to rate both the service and the driver.
These services further support RTA’s initiatives to integrate diverse transport modes and offer first- and last-mile solutions, enabling mass transit users to conveniently reach their ultimate destinations.
#RTA has endorsed a plan for a gradual shift from conventional taxi’s street-hail to e-hail services, aiming for an 80% e-hail adoption rate in the coming years. https://t.co/6pqh6VIL3f@halaride pic.twitter.com/5TiCJHiwxh
— RTA (@rta_dubai) March 19, 2023
UAE petrol prices in August: here’s how much a full tank will cost you
In a welcome relief to the motorheads in the UAE, the country’s fuel price committee has announced petrol and diesel prices for the month of August 2022 with a dip of 60 fils in each category of fuel type.
⛽ Monthly Fuel Price Announcement:— Emarat (امارات) (@EmaratOfficial) July 31, 2022
August 2022 fuel prices released by the #UAE Fuel Price Follow-up Committee pic.twitter.com/HhACWarUyz
Here are the different rates:
– Super 98: Dh4.03 a litre compared to, Dh4.63 a litre in July
– Special 95: Dh3.92 a litre, compared to Dh4.52 per litre
– E-Plus: Dh3.84 a litre, compared to Dh4.44/ litre
– Diesel: Dh4.14 a litre, compared to Dh4.76
The dip is the first since May with significant hikes in June and July as Russia’s invasion on Ukraine has continuously driven prices upwards and the pinch is being felt everywhere across the globe.
A comparison of prices in the past three months for an average full tank in different car categories is as under (indicative purposes only):
|COMPACT (avg 51 litres)||August||July||June|
|Super 98 petrol||205.53||236.13||211.65|
|Special 95 petrol||199.92||230.52||205.33|
|E-plus 91 petrol||195.84||226.44||201.96|
|SEDAN (avg 52 litres)||August||July||June|
|Super 98 petrol||249.86||287.06||257.86|
|Special 95 petrol||243.04||280.24||249.86|
|E-plus 91 petrol||238.08||275.26||245.52|
|SUV (avg 74 litres)||August||July||June|
|Super 98 petrol||298.22||342.62||307.10|
|Special 95 petrol||290.08||334.48||298.22|
|E-plus 91 petrol||284.16||328.56||293.04|
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Craving a Tesla ride? Rent it out on a sharing basis with free fuel and parking
Dubai – MOTOR, the electric vehicle car-sharing platform, has announced its launch in the UAE. As a part of its mission to reduce the region’s carbon footprint through responsible transportation, MOTOR provides access to world-leading electric vehicles (EVs) such as the Tesla range through its car-sharing platform, Motor SHARE, which offers users short and long-term options at affordable prices.
With fuel costs on the rise around the world alongside the ambitious visions of the UAE, including the ‘UAE Net Zero 2050’ and the government’s commitment to converting 20% of its fleet of government-owned automobiles to electric alternatives by 2030, has seen a substantial increase in demand for electric vehicles across the Emirates.
Thanks to a simple registration process on the MOTOR Share app, UAE residents can locate and rent MOTOR’s electric vehicles, which feature the Tesla Model 3 and soon the Tesla Model Y alongside other leading brands, in just a few taps. The platform provides lucrative perks, including complimentary parking in all public RTA spaces across Dubai, free EV charging, comprehensive insurance, and affordable tariffs.
In addition to accessing features of leading EVs state-of-the-art technology and design, the MOTOR Share app offers advanced features, including the option to cool the car ahead and during rides. Additional AI features will also soon be rolled out, including a ‘safety score’, which will reward safe drivers and warn drivers at risk.
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The MOTOR Share platform offers car-sharing opportunities for consumers, who can enjoy the flexibility of renting a vehicle by the hour or for up to two years. Moreover, consumers also have the option to display their owned vehicles on the platform.
Businesses who utilise the platform will benefit from many efficiencies, allowing companies to aggregate car rentals into one platform thanks to custom mobility solutions, providing a flexible opportunity to increase their car rentals’ own fleet utilisation.
Hamad Al Mazrooei, Co-Founder of MOTOR, said: “As the UAE moves towards reinforcing its resolve to fight climate change through the ambitious ‘UAE Net Zero 2050’, more and more businesses and residents are looking to convert to electric vehicles. Our goal at MOTOR is not only to further accelerate the sustainable transition to EVs, but we also want to make sustainable mobility more accessible, affordable, and flexible.”
Following the launch of its EV sharing platform, MOTOR aims to roll out its EV subscription service and a charging network by the end of 2022. Moreover, the platform plans to roll out a sustainable driving award points system aimed at unlocking rides and discounts.