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Mercedes

Are Mercedes' bouncing problems now just track-specific?

Mercedes were back fighting amongst the front-runners at the Canadian Grand Prix, just as they were in Barcelona. So are their problems not simply track-specific?

Lewis Hamilton's Mercedes
Article
To news overview © XPB

Lewis Hamilton was back on the podium at the Canadian Grand Prix for the first time since the season-opening race in Bahrain.

His seven-race wait to finish inside the top three was his longest since 2013, and only twice in his F1 career has he been made to wait longer.

After a difficult Friday in Montreal, Mercedes were back to fighting for big points on Sunday, with Hamilton at one stage involved in the battle for the race win following a late Safety Car.

The Silver Arrows were also strong in Barcelona, three races previous, where Hamilton matched the pace of race winner Max Verstappen as he cut through the field.

So are the team's bouncing and porpoising problems simply track-specific? Are their issues likely to arise on street circuits but not on more conventional race tracks?

Mercedes fighting stiffness of car rather than porpoising

Toto Wolff refused to show optimism as he discussed the topic with members of the media, including RacingNews365.com, in Montreal.

But he did allow himself to admit that the team are confident they have more control over the bouncing, no matter the circuit, and are instead struggling with the stiffness of the W13: a problem plaguing multiple teams.

"What we are seeing is that the bouncing or the porpoising has been greatly reduced, and I think the drivers have kind of got on with it," Wolff said.

"What we see in the cars is just a stiffness. You look at some of the slow motions from the two leading cars, and the two Alpines, [and] you'll 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. And this is something we need to look out for in how we can reduce the impact.

"Of course, the smoother the track, the better. The lower the cars, the less we see this phenomenon."

Is Silverstone perfect for Mercedes' new car?

Hamilton will be hoping that the Silverstone surface is as smooth as can be for the upcoming British Grand Prix, as he targets more than just a place on the podium.

But should the British fans making the trip to Northamptonshire in July expect to see George Russell and Hamilton fighting for the big points once again, or perhaps even more?

"Silverstone has been good to us in the past and the circuit is smoother than the last three ones. But it's not Barcelona," Wolff added.

"So now we should manage our own expectations and just really grind away, look at the data and come up with some sensible solutions. Not only for Silverstone but going forward in general.

As such, Wolff remains wary of getting carried away by Mercedes' recent improvement.

"One swallow does not make a summer," he stated. "We saw that swallow also in Barcelona, but somehow it flew somewhere else.

"We need to be careful. There's so much work we need to do in order to be back on the throne. We are not yet there."

Also interesting:

F1 Podcast: What's next in F1's porpoising row?

RacingNews365.com F1 journalists Dieter Rencken and Michael Butterworth discuss the key topics from the Canadian Grand Prix, including the fierce debate over the FIA's intervention on porpoising.

F1 2022 Canadian Grand Prix RN365 News dossier

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