Last year, Formula One team Mercedes suffered a lot due to porpoising issues. The W13 car had so many bouncing problems that the drivers were hurt. It was very difficult to race for Lewis Hamilton and George Russell even to drive that car. At the Azerbaijan Grand Prix last year, Lewis Hamilton suffered a lot from neck and back pain along with several bruises. It was pretty apparent that the team needed to work on the porpoising and bouncing issue.
Apparently, it was not just Mercedes but a lot of teams complained about this issue. Later, the governing body, FIA, took action with technical directives. Moreover, it even took a lot of time to what was causing this porpoising trouble. Since then, no team complained about bouncing issues in the early part of the season. However, looks like the haunting days are back in Formula One. This is because today at the Practice session of the Spanish Grand Prix, Mercedes, along with other teams, once again saw the face of porpoising.
Mercedes, Along With Other F1 Teams, Complain About The Return Of The Porpoising Issue
This year, the Mercedes team worked on the W14 car for the current season and reduced the bouncing to a pretty low level. However, the car with zero side pod concept had new and different problems. And sadly, to their utter dismay, the porpoising issue is back. Apparently, not only Lewis Hamilton but other drivers are also complaining about the porpoising issue, like Max Verstappen and Lando Norris. The Barcelona track is supposed to be a lot faster. Moreover, the unpopular chicane near the end of the track has been removed. It was slow, and hence, that part of the track was much faster.
However, in the FP1 session on Friday, many drivers complained about the rise of porpoising again. Both Red Bull drivers noted that the car was bouncing on Turn 10 and near the final corner. Mercedes driver George Russell and McLaren driver Lando Norris also raised the concern around the last corner too. They mentioned, “The porpoising and bottoming into the last corner is upsetting the car a lot.” Later, Martin Brundle of Sky Sports also mentioned that the cars underneath generate a lot of downforce on the ground-effect cars. Hence, in such scenarios, the last thing the teams would want is the cars kicking off like that in the final corner. Moreover, for the driver’s comfort, the teams may have to raise the heights of the ride. But they must not compromise the car’s performance.
Lewis Hamilton Sounds Hopeful About The New Upgrades
After the cancelation of the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix this year, Mercedes tested their new upgrades to W14 in Monaco’s street circuit. But as expected, they missed out on yet another podium finish. Although Lewis Hamilton felt the car was doing better with new upgrades, it would be exciting to see what it does in Barcelona for the Spanish Grand Prix.
On the other hand, the Mercedes driver spoke about the W14 upgrades in a recent interview. According to him, “Well, it is not our dream improvement. But I’m grateful for the work that is put into the modifications back in Brackley factory.” Hamilton is trying to take things one at a time. He knows there won’t be any major difference in the result of a race right away. But the goal is to keep building on the improvements.