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George Russell

Russell repeats call for active suspension amid Mercedes woes

George Russell admits that his Mercedes team are still struggling to understand their issues with porpoising, despite having run their cars at two pre-season testing events and four Grands Prix.

Russell Imola
Article
To news overview © Mercedes

Mercedes driver George Russell has repeated calls for active suspension to be introduced as a possible cure for F1's new breed of porpoising cars.

The issue of bouncing remains a key problem for several teams as the season prepares for its fifth round of 2022 with the upcoming Miami Grand Prix.

Mercedes have been hit harder than most by the effects of porpoising, with the team blaming the ground effect phenomenon for their lack of performance.

The eight-time Constructors' Champions say they are unable to run their car as close to the ground as it was designed to, due to the bouncing and bottoming.

And active suspension could allow them to do so, Russell has argued, while he believes it could also improve the spectacle.

Russell: Active suspension would make these cars even faster

Speaking to Sky Sports F1, Russell said: "I've spoken about active suspension before. That was the solution back in the eighties, so maybe that's the solution [now].

"From a pure racing and driving experience, it would make the cars much quicker because you could put the car at the perfect ride height for each individual corner speed.

"It's pretty straightforward technology these days, it's something you see on road cars as well, especially in 4x4 cars that change the ride height depending on terrain.

"It seems like it could be a simple solution. It's something that [would] contribute to making these cars even faster.

"I don't make the rules, I'm not a designer, maybe there are other limitations around it and it is not as simple as I thought. I think it could be cool, it could be interesting."

Mercedes still don't understand porpoising

Despite having run their car at two pre-season testing events and four Grands Prix, Russell says that Mercedes still lack understanding as to why their car is porpoising so severely.

Ferrari have been seen bouncing just as dramatically when running at high speed, but the problem has failed to prevent Charles Leclerc from building a World Championship lead.

"We don't understand it, I don't think anybody truly understands it," Russell explained.

With the issue prevalent amongst the majority of the 2022 cars, Russell admits that it is difficult to understand how nobody anticipated the problem.

"McLaren are the only team who don't have it, and they don't understand why," the Briton added.

"This is the slightly strange thing about it all, there are so many brilliant engineers across the whole of Formula 1, yet it caught everybody by surprise and nine out of 10 teams all had this issue."

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