Damon Hill has commented on the potential performance of Mercedes‘ F1 car, admitting that it’s like a “massive carrot” for the team which could have a very fast car on their hands if they fix the porpoising.
Mercedes and its drivers George Russell and Lewis Hamilton have been struggling so far this season, but with a bit of luck and consistent driving from Russell, the team has managed to stay in third place on the Constructor Standings. Of course, we don’t expect Mercedes to stay there however, if their pace doesn’t pick up.
The main issue is, as you may have guessed, porpoising. This has severely disrupted the aerodynamics of the car and has reduced grip across the board due to the cars running a higher ride height to combat it. It’s also been hard on the drivers who are being thrown about at high speeds.
Damon Hill has now admitted that he believes that Mercedes will work out how to lower their car, and as soon as this happens, we may see a shake up on the grid:
“You look at the front end of these cars now, they’ve got these underneath the bib where the skid plate is at the front, just behind the drivers’ knees almost, they’ve got these dampers,” he told the F1 Nation podcast.
“They’ve got these fairly serious looking bits of kit that are doing something and I’m wondering whether its just simply a damper that when the car decks, it somehow stops it from springing back up again so much so it could be the actual floor hitting that is setting off the osolation.
“If you can get your car half a centimetre lower, you get maybe double the amount of downforce or efficiency. So they’ve got to control that really difficult increment in downforce.
“It wants to suck so hard that it actually wants to suck onto the ground and you’ve got to get it as close as you can without it hitting a bump and releasing and going into that crazy osolation.”
He continued, describing this as a “massive carrot” for Mercedes to chase:
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“Would you completely rule out Mercedes? They’ve got a lot to think about but perhaps they could throw themselves into the pot.
“They have even less resources that they can use because they’ve had so much success so they’re actually on the limit with how much developments, wind tunnel and financial resources.
“We haven’t seen the full potential from Mercedes is what I’m saying. Because we’re so early in the development of these new regulations, there’s this really tantalising, massive carrot that is dangling right in front of Mercedes but they can’t get to it.”