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Mercedes

Mercedes to investigate cause of 'bouncing' at Belgian GP

The return of the phenomenon affected Lewis Hamilton's ability to chase for a podium during the race.

Hamilton Belgium Sprintrace
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To news overview © XPBimages

Mercedes suffered from a legacy Formula 1 problem at the Belgian Grand Prix with the team yet to understand the root causes.

The "bouncing" phenomenon largely affected its W13 2022 car, but the porpoising phenomenon was largely eradicated in the latter half of the season and the beginning of 2023.

Lewis Hamilton bemoaned the return of the issues during the race at Spa-Francorchamps, which affected his ability to catch Charles Leclerc for a podium.

Mercedes Chief Technical Officer Mike Elliott, has revealed the team has yet to understand the cause of the problem: "We definitely had an amount of bouncing, both drivers were telling us that and we could see it in the data.

"We could also see an amount of bouncing on the other cars and I think some of it is the nature of the circuit at Spa and in fact, we had huge amounts of bouncing last year as did most teams.

"It definitely affects the performance of the cars because it affects the drivers’ ability to extract the maximum grip from the car, it affects their balance and it affects their ability to get their braking points right. So that is something we will be working on for the future."

Mercedes have questions over summer break

Elliott confirmed the team will be working behind the scenes over the summer break to determine whether it was circuit-specific.

"The question we need to ask ourselves is, how much of it is just the circuit we were at in Spa and how much is to be found in setup," he explained.

The Belgian GP weekend was one of the six Sprint weekends this year, with teams only getting one practice session ahead of putting their cars into Parc Ferme for Qualifying.

The intermittent rain affected the team's ability to set its cars up for a fully dry race, meaning it had to make compromises, with George Russell opting for a higher downforce level compared to Hamilton for the race, which affected his ability to finish inside the top five.

"Obviously it was a wet race weekend, a weekend where we had no dry running up until the point we were actually racing," said Elliott.

"We will also take a really good look at the upgrade kit and make sure that we’ve not introduced bouncing with that but at the moment our belief is it is probably a result of setup or the circuit itself."

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