Mercedes believe porpoising issues ‘solved’ amid Red Bull fury at FIA intervention

Mercedes team boss Toto Wolff believes their struggles with ‘porpoising’ have been “solved” as Red Bull reacted furiously to the intervention of the FIA at the Canadian Grand Prix last weekend.

Wolff has said his team worked out a solution for the issue at the Spanish Grand Prix at Barcelona only to struggle with the low ride of the W13 on the bumpy street tracks in Monaco and Azerbaijan.

It led to both Lewis Hamilton and George Russell suffering from physical pain as a result of the ‘bouncing’ and, in response, triggered a technical directive from the FIA over concerns of driver safety ahead of the Montreal race.

Wolff’s Red Bull counterpart, Christian Horner, has accused Mercedes and their drivers of overplaying their safety concerns as an excuse for poor performance and said the FIA’s intervention was “overtly biased” in the team’s favour.

The FIA are set to have further discussions with teams over the issue but for Mercedes, Wolff was confident that their focus has now shifted to the “stiffness” of their suspension rather than ‘porpoising’.

“I think in a way we have dissected what we define as porpoising or bouncing, and it is that the porpoising, which is the aerodynamic movement of the car, I think that’s solved and we got on top of this around Barcelona,” Wolff said after Hamilton and Russell finished third and fourth in Montreal.

“It is more that the ride of the cars is really what causes the comments of the drivers. The cars are simply all too stiff. The kerb ride is bad, the bump ride is bad and I would say that now, with dissecting this problem, you can tackle it better.

“What we see in the cars is just the stiffness. You look at some of the slow motions from the two leading cars and the Alpines, you see that they are bouncing off the kerb in a very hard way.

“This is what the drivers actually complained about, the stiffness of the car. This is something we need to look at: how we can reduce the impact. And of course, the smoother the track, the better. The lower the kerbs, the less we see this phenomenon.”


Douglas Mateo

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