Porpoising has been a hot topic with this new generation of Formula One cars, most commonly mentioned in conversations about Mercedes.
Since the preseason, several of the drivers around the paddock have made a comment about the issue. Mercedes, though, seems to be struggling the most. George Russell revealed after Imola that he felt real pain from the bouncing, and now, another driver is stepping forward calling for a larger conversation about the impact of the phenomenon: Ferrari’s Carlos Sainz.
Ahead of the Spanish Grand Prix, the Spaniard was asked by Autosport about how the new cars will fair in Monaco. He ended up revealing that he, too, is “already feeling” the effects of the suspension and porpoising.
“I think it’s going to be a big challenge,” he said. “I think already the curbs in Miami felt proper aggressive in these cars. There’s been a few bumps in Imola that were quite hard on the body. More than Monaco we need to think [about] as drivers and F1 how much of a toll a driver should be paying for his back and his health in an F1 career with this kind of car philosophy? I think we need to open the debate more than anything.
“I think the regulations are great. They’re doing exactly what we need it for racing. But do we need to run as stiff for our necks and back as we are having to run lately, with this car mass? For me, it’s more a philosophical question that I put out there, maybe for F1 and everyone to rethink about how much the driver needs to actually pay a price in his career with his health, in order to combat this.
“Monaco will be tough and all that, but I’m thinking more long-term.”
“Porpoising” refers to the jarring bouncing on the suspension during high speeds, which is what the driver feels. Typically the cause is related to the cars’ aerodynamics. He added that he has “done my usual checks on my back, neck tightness, and I see this year I’m tighter everywhere. I don’t need expert advice to know that 10 years like this it’s going to be tough, and you’re going to need to work a lot in mobility, flexibility.”
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