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George Russell

Russell spots Mercedes problem return: Up to F1 and FIA to fix

The return of the aerodynamic 'porpoising' in Spain has left some fearing that it could affect drivers again this season.

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At the start of the 2022 Formula 1 season many cars were hit by the 'porpoising' aerodynamic phenomenon.

The cars would bounce through high speed corners and straights due to the combination of stiff suspension, floor flexing, and high downforce generated by the diffusers.

It also led to back problems for drivers, with Lewis Hamilton notably emerging from his car after the Azerbaijan Grand Prix in 2022 in pain from the bouncing inflicted on the straights.

While much of the porpoising has been eliminated through regulation changes, teams, including Mercedes, have still encountered the problem on track again at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya.

"I'd say the straight-line bouncing has disappeared," said George Russell to media, including RacingNews365.com.

"But when you've got the ride height so close to the ground, it's just when the floor edge makes contact with the floor.

"We're all pushing these cars to the limit, we're not just going to raise the car 20mm just to avoid the bouncing because you'd be two seconds off the pace."

Russell does not expect the problem to arise at the next track in Canada, but fears that such a phenomenon could still present itself at high speed tracks later on in the calendar.

"You'll probably see the same issues when you get to behind something tracks like Silverstone and Suzuka," he explained.

"Probably Canada won't be an issue because it's just low speed corners, and the straight-line bouncing [has] seemingly disappeared."

When asked by RacingNews365.com about whether changes are a GPDA matter, Russell believes it will be down to the FIA or F1 if they see anything that poses a risk to drive safety.

He added: "It's a shame to see that we're 18 months into these regs and still many, many drivers struggling.

"Some people were saying it needs to change and others who don't struggle will say 'no' and obviously the two quickest cars at the moment don't really struggle as much as everybody else.

"Clearly they're doing something better than the rest, but that's down to F1 and the FIA to see what can be done."

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RESULTS 2024 F1 Emilia Romagna Grand Prix - Qualifying