2022 brings not only a new season of F1, but a whole load of regulations that should make for closer, more entertaining racing. One way they’re seeking this is by using ground effect aerodynamics while simplifying the suspension. The resulting porpoising which almost every driver has had to deal with has been terrible. From the T cam, viewers can see drivers’ heads wobbling up and down as the cars try to themselves to pieces.
Mercedes’ George Russell has already complained about this and the resulting pain he’s received from this, and now Sainz is looking to continue this debate.
“Already the kerbs in Miami felt proper aggressive on these cars,” Sainz told the press. “There’s been a few bumps in Imola that were quite hard on the body.
“I think we need to, as drivers and Formula 1, [consider] how much of a toll a driver should be paying for his back and his health in a Formula 1 career with this kind of car philosophy.
“We need to open the debate more than anything to see if… I think the regulations are great. They’re doing exactly what we needed 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 of a philosophy question that I put out there maybe for Formula 1 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.”
Since suffering from pain after races, Sainz has sought professional advice about the long-term effects this could be having on his body after admitting that he is “tighter everywhere” this year compared to last. So far, he’s tagged this as a “very young” thought, and he hasn’t taken it further just yet.
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“I’m already feeling it,” he continued. “I don’t need expert advice to know that if I have 10 years like this, it’s going to be tough, I’m going to need to work a lot in mobility, flexibility and I’m going to need to invest in health overall body health.
“It’s probably a question that I think as drivers we don’t like talking much because we don’t like sounding weak.
“I’m strong, I’m very fit, I consider myself one of the fittest drivers and I’ve never struggled in a Formula 1 race at all.
“But it’s more long term and for the benefit of all of us, maybe we should put it out there to talk about and see what options we have.
“Then there’s the interests of the teams of the overtaking, of everything, of the show, that you need to factor in the equation.
“But what if we for the first time factor in also a bit the driver? I think it could be interesting.”