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Mercedes

Mercedes make disqualification admission ahead of porpoising clampdown

Lewis Hamilton and George Russell will be hoping their Mercedes team can irradiate bouncing problems entirely ahead of the fast-approaching French Grand Prix weekend.

Hamilton Baku
Article
To news overview © Mercedes

Mercedes have admitted that their car would not have passed the FIA's new metric to determine whether cars are bouncing too often or too severely were it applied during last month's Azerbaijan Grand Prix weekend.

Lewis Hamilton and George Russell were both forced to endure a painful weekend in Baku as their team's W13 bounced hard. That resulted in agony for Hamilton who at one stage reported a loss of feeling in his lower spine.

It was after the race in Baku when the FIA made clear that they will be intervening to protect drivers from the effects of porpoising as they issued teams with a Technical Directive (TD) that threatened disqualification should a car put a driver at risk of injury.

Bouncing will remain unpunished until the French Grand Prix weekend, as teams continued to get a hold on the problem, but Mercedes say it could have left them unable to race had it been applied earlier.

Elliott: We wouldn't have passed in Baku

Mercedes technical director Mike Elliott remains against some elements of the TD, warning the FIA that some teams may find themselves unable to fix their bouncing cars during a Grand Prix weekend.

He has told select members of the media, including RacingNews365.com: "I think, from what we've heard from the FIA, it's something they're going to have to sort of work on and build on, and work out how that's going to work pragmatically.

"I think in Baku, if we're going back through and looking at the races using that metric, is one we wouldn't have passed," he admitted.

"If you looked at where we were [during the British GP], we wouldn't have even triggered the metric. So, I think it's difficult."

Mercedes wants TD to be handled "in the right way"

Elliott has argued that none of the grid's 10 team bosses would be pleased to see a rival disqualified from a race weekend, simply due to bounce problems.

"None of us want to be bouncing," he said. "I’m sure [rival teams] would say exactly the same thing, so we're not trying to develop into that position.

"Another question is that if you are exceeding the metric, can you actually fix it during a race weekend? Because I don't think any of us want to see cars not taking part, or cars being thrown out because they're not able to get on top of those issues.

"I think time will tell whether that metric can be done in the right way and whether that can push teams in the right way without ending up damaging the show, but we'll see what happens. I'm sure the FIA are conscious of that."

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