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Russell suggests rule changes over porpoising

NEWS STORY
11/06/2022

As Baku suggests that the porpoising phenomenon has actually worsened, George Russell calls on the powers that be to consider changing the rules.

While Mercedes played down the porpoising witnessed in Monaco, suggesting that it was more about the bumpy nature of the street track, almost from the moment the cars took to the Baku track it was clear that the problem was as bad as ever... if not worse.

"The head is all over the place," complained Esteban Ocon, "I felt I was going to lose my helmet at the end of the straight.

"It's tricky for everybody," he added. "It's not physical for the right reason, unfortunately. It's very strange, it's like oscillation, you can't train or get ready for it.

"It's just painful on the body, really. I can feel it on the neck, it's getting me smaller, hopefully I will lose a couple of centimetres," he joked.

"The hardest thing about today was the bouncing, I'm a bit sore," added Lewis Hamilton, who at one point, when warned about crossing the white line at the pit entrance replied that he couldn't see it due to the bouncing.

"We're hitting serious speeds at the end of the straight and bottoming out," said the seven-time champion. "We're facing the same problems as in the last race."

Curiously, in the same way that some teams are suffering more than others, at some teams one driver appears to be affected more than his teammate, the best examples being Red Bull and Ferrari.

"Today for some reason I struggled a lot with this phenomenon that hasn't been there in the last few races.," said Carlos Sainz. "It looked particularly bad on our side of the garage. It's something I need to dig into in the data with the engineers because it is something really annoying around here.

"It was taking out a bit of my confidence on the straights, in the braking. So hopefully for tomorrow we can solve it."

George Russell warns that it cannot continue and that F1 bosses have to consider looking at the rules.

"Now the cars are running so close to the ground, it's crazy out there through those high speed corners, the car's fully bottoming out," said the Briton. "It's really not comfortable to drive.

"I don't know what the future holds for this sort of era of cars," he continued, "but I can't see us being able to... I don't think it's right to be able to run like this for the next four years or whatever we've got.

"I guess all of those conversations are going to be needed as everybody is in the same boat," he added.

Fact is, while the rules overhaul led by Ross Brawn has allowed cars to follow one another more closely it has not improved overtaking. Indeed, not only are we still relying on DRS we are now witnessing long DRS trains, as is likely to be the case on Sunday.

Indeed, no matter how much F1 and sections of the media may crow about it, while Mercedes is clearly on the back foot at present, it is essentially the same names dominating the sport this year as it has been for the last few years, with no genuine sign of any of the midfield teams becoming podium challengers anytime soon.

Check out our Saturday gallery from Baku, here.

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1. Posted by kenji, 12/06/2022 0:38

"@ elsiebc...apparently the 'plank' is still in operation and is made of permaglass composites from BTR Permali. These 'planks' have titanium skid blocks embedded and that is why sparks are still seen. The planks are still used to maintain a measurable distance from the track surface which in turn would govern the sealing of the floor edge and therefore the efficiency of the desired level of downforce. Getting this interplay between forces appears quite tricky but some teams are better equipped than others when it comes to practical implementation and design. These new cars are not 100% ground effect because IIRC the Lotu.s and Willims cars of old had side skirts and no plank. I'm not sure whether i've got this right but after quite a lot of study that's how it appears to me. I'm sure someone will point out any areas where I have it wrong.





























"

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2. Posted by elsiebc, 11/06/2022 14:32

"I thought the legality plank was to keep cars from running too low. If they are constantly bottoming out why aren't they wearing down the plank? Seems to me that getting rid of the skid blocks so that cars bottom on the plank instead of the blocks, and maybe making the plank of softer material, will make the teams run the cars higher which results in less or no porpoising."

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3. Posted by kenji, 11/06/2022 14:01

"If there was a WC for whining then Mercedes would be running miles ahead of the rest of the teams. The fact remains that some of the other teams have similar problems but they vary only by degree. Mercedes who have been the engineering 'creme de la creme' for the past 8 years are now proving to be a mediocre force, ATPIT. Just because they're failing to match the others [ even with the GOAT ] they are now calling for rule changes? Hasn't the mantra always been that 'excellence should never be penalised' and 'the others need to raise their game'? I do find it great to see the likes of Red Bull/Ferrari and a few others getting on with it and showing just what they can do....without getting their 'Reg Grundy's in a bunch. Long may it last and we continue to see more exciting team battles throughout the rest of the season.Baku is another great track and ususlly throws up a few odd opportunities....."

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