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Russell echoes Sainz' health fears over porpoising

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21/05/2022

Following Carlos Sainz' comments over the long-term effect of porpoising on drivers' backs, George Russell admits that it is possible head trauma that concerns him.

Speaking earlier in the week, Sainz expressed his fears over drivers' long-term health as a result of the pounding they are experiencing with porpoising.

"It's how much of a toll a driver should be paying for his back and his health in a Formula One career with this kind of car philosophy," said the Spaniard.

"I think we need to open the debate more than anything," he continued. "I think the regulations are great, they're doing exactly what we needed for racing. But do we need to run as stiff for our necks and back as we are having to run lately?

"I've done my usual checks on my back, neck tightness etcetera and I see this year I'm tighter everywhere," he added. "I'm already feeling it... I don't need expert advice to know that ten years like this it's going to be tough, and you're going to need to work a lot in mobility, flexibility."

Speaking as the Barcelona weekend got underway, George Russell admitted similar concerns, however, the Briton is more worried about possible head trauma.

"It would be quite cool if we were able to share some sort of numbers with you guys and probably confidential so ask the team what's possible but, you know, when you're going down the straight at over 200 miles an hour and you're smashing up and down on the ground, sure, you wouldn't choose to have it that way," said the Mercedes driver.

"The cars are obviously extremely rigid, and they're not meant to be a comfortable ride and I guess you can almost compare it to like the footballers - I don't know what era it was in 60s, 70s, 80s when they had the massively heavy footballs and there was research done and analysis done that there were health consequences for these chaps who were heading the ball and things were changed... You know, Formula 1 is the centre of innovation, there's no reason why we can't find a scientific solution for this."

"I'm one of the lucky ones," said Daniel Ricciardo, "but I watch their on-boards and (my) jaw's wide open like, yeah."

"There's the discomfort," added Russell, "but even from a visibility like I'm like, how can they see their turning point?"

"Carlos seems to be a bit more sensitive to it," said Sainz' teammate, Charles Leclerc, "compared to me, where I don't struggle as much - but I definitely agree with him, that it should be something that shouldn't happen with those cars.

"We got better with it but there are some teams that are still struggling with it much more than we do, but for them, I cannot speak. Looking at on-boards, some cars look much worse than others. We were definitely on the bad side at the beginning of the year. We got better, but still, it's definitely something that we should look at."

"When I started with the Minardi in 2001, that car was not very comfy," argued the ever contrary Fernando Alonso. "We didn't have power steering or anything like that. So they were very physical, or in IndyCar is 100 times worse. Or in Endurance. You drive with Sebastian Buemi's seat for 24 hours, you know, because you have to share the seat with a teammate, or in karting, we used to break one or two ribs every winter when we test. So, I think we have a lot of comfort at the moment."

"It's very simple," stated Max Verstappen. "If you just raise your rear ride height, you will not have it, but you lose performance.

"So if he just raises his rear ride height, it will be fine. It's just a give and take," he Added. "I mean, it's not nice, but I know there's more lap time in it by running it lower, so you run it low, even if it's not comfortable."

"The loads on the spine, the vertebras is exceptionally high compared to other sports," said Sebastian Vettel. "But then every sport is particular and probably takes the toll on your body. It's for you to take care of that and try and prevent as much as you can.

"So, yeah, I don't know, time will tell if you see these guys, in 50 years' time, and their backs. But yeah, I think every sport is developing as well. And yeah, I think the discomfort we have through the due to the porpoising shouldn't last forever. I think teams will figure it out at some point."

Check out our Saturday gallery from Barcelona, here.

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READERS COMMENTS

 

1. Posted by elsiebc, 21/05/2022 15:16

"@ Wokingchap Everyone does do it. They just choose lap time over comfort."

Rating: Neutral (0)     Rate comment: Positive | NegativeReport this comment

2. Posted by Wokingchap, 21/05/2022 10:33

"If it's simple Max, why doesn't everyone do it?"

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