Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff has revealed that Miami could be a much better race for the team as they prepare upgrades to the cars that could eradicate the porpoising issues that are currently plaguing their races. These upgrades could find “quite some lap time”, according to the chief.
The Emilia Romagna GP saw an awful performance from Lewis Hamilton as he finished 13th, 9 places behind his teammate George Russell. But what’s more important to take away from this race is Russell’s reaction to the porpoising.
He told the press via The Race:
“When the car is in the right window and the tyres are in the right window, except for the bouncing, it feels really good to drive.
“But the bouncing really takes your breath away, it’s the most extreme I’ve ever felt it.
“I really hope we find a solution, and I hope every team who is struggling with the bouncing finds a solution because it’s not sustainable for the drivers to continue with this level.
“This is the first weekend where I’ve truly been struggling with my back, and almost like chest pains from the severity of the bouncing, but it’s what we have to do to get the fastest lap times out of the car.”
Wolff is confident that changes coming to the car will fix this:
“We very much believe that the science we are putting in at the moment will help us to, in effect, run the car lower,” he told the press via Motorsport.com.
“It is where we believe we have all the aerodynamic goodness, but we haven’t been able to unlock it because of the bottoming of the car.
“If we are able to get on top of that, that means there’s quite some lap time we can find.
“If not, we need to have another idea.”
He admits that, obviously, the porpoising is what’s really damaging their lap times, and because of this they’re unable to run the car at its perfect ride height to extract the highest amount of downforce:
“The fundamental issue that, in a way, overshadows everything, is that our car is porpoising more than others.
“Because of the bouncing, we are not able to run it where it should run, and that has huge ramifications on the set-up, on the tyre grip etc, etc, etc.
“So, one is interlinked to the other. I think if we get on top of the porpoising we would unlock much more in terms of performance on the car.
“If we don’t get on top of that, there are more conventional development paths that we have not yet taken. I want to give us the time to really properly take such a decision.”
Despite this, Mercedes currently sits third in the Constructor Standing – more by luck than anything else, but it’s unlikely they’ll stay in this position for much longer if they don’t fix the issues they’re experiencing. Russel himself sits fourth in the Driver Standings, 3 places above teammate Hamilton.