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Lando Norris

Norris admits feeling 'conflicted' over porpoising debate

While some of his fellow drivers are suffering physically this season due to issues with porpoising, McLaren driver Lando Norris has acknowledged that he is not massively affected by the same problem, but believes that driver safety must come first.

Norris Canada
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Lando Norris admits that he feels somewhat "conflicted" over the debate on porpoising.

There was a lot of talk at the Canadian Grand Prix regarding the unique porpoising effect that a multitude of drivers are having to deal with this season, with the cars bouncing down the track with so much force that some drivers have been left struggling with pain at the end of races.

In a bid to help the situation – which has seen Lewis Hamilton suffering severe back pain, others with blurred vision and even the Ferrari drivers' heads seen bouncing as the car gets up to speed on the straights – the FIA decided they needed to intervene.

While this phenomenon affects some drivers more than others, Norris has mixed feelings about the new rules the FIA will be putting into place. However, while his McLaren team are not pushing for any changes, he admits that something needs to be done to fix things.

Norris: Safety has to come first

"It will be interesting to see whether the new FIA technical directive regarding porpoising has come into effect by then [Silverstone]," Norris said in is column for The Telegraph.

"Obviously, that was the major talking point over the Canada weekend, and I must admit to being a bit conflicted on it.

"The truth is we are not massively affected by porpoising, so we were not pushing for change. But safety has to come first.

"If there is a real danger that drivers could have long-term health consequences from the bouncing, or that they could lose focus and crash, then something has to be done. I can see both sides.”

Front two teams have "done a much better job", says Norris

The other side of this issue is that several teams don’t want to see any changes, claiming that the squads suffering the severe porpoising issues need to find the solution themselves, just as others did pre-season.

"The front two teams have clearly done a much better job than anyone else of interpreting the rules, so I can see why they would be against change mid-season," Norris continued.

"At the same time, without having experienced the severity of porpoising that others have, I do not want to criticise anyone. Safety has to come first, and while it might not be affecting me now, these regulations are long term."

Norris: I would want my fellow drivers to have my back

Norris has every intention of standing by his fellow drivers, especially as the time may come when he will need to rely on their help. But he stress that the main thing is that it is fair for everyone.

"If I had a problem in a year or two which I felt was endangering my health, I know I would want my fellow drivers to have my back," he commented.

"My main concern is that it is fair for everyone – ideally you would implement any changes post-season – but inevitably it is going to affect some more than others."

Without knowing exactly what the new regulations will mean, Norris is not quite sure if it will help move McLaren up or down the grid.

"Obviously, we have designed our car one way, with a certain philosophy in mind, and it could move things more in our direction or away from it," the Briton added.

"We shall see. There are people far brainier than me tasked with working it out!"

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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