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Wolff says W13's porpoising issue is "solved"

NEWS STORY
21/06/2022

Just a week after the nightmare of Baku, Toto Wolff believes Mercedes has finally "solved" the porpoising issue that has plagued it since pre-season testing.

Of course, the Austrian made a similar claim in Spain, only for the bouncing to return with a vengeance at subsequent events, not least Azerbaijan, where George Russell called on the FIA to change the rules and Lewis Hamilton was rumoured to be considering sitting out the Canada race such was the pain he had suffered on the streets of Baku.

Seven days later, oh Canada, the W13s were as good as gold, allowing Hamilton to claim his second podium of the year, with teammate Russell right behind.

"I think in a way we have dissected what we define as porpoising or bouncing, and it is that the porpoising, which is the aerodynamic movement of the car, I think that's solved and we got on top of this around Barcelona," said Wolff in the aftermath of Sunday's race.

"It is more that the ride of the cars is really what causes the comments of the drivers," he added. The cars are simply all too stiff. The kerb ride is bad, the bump ride is bad and I would say that now, with dissecting this problem, you can tackle it better.

"What we see in the cars is just the stiffness," he said. "You look at some of the slow motions from the two leading cars and the Alpines, you see that they are bouncing off the kerb in a very hard way. This is what the drivers actually complained about, the stiffness of the car. This is something we need to look at, how we can reduce the impact.

"And of course, the smoother the track, the better," he added, believing the issue is track specific. "The lower the kerbs, the less we see this phenomenon."

Aware that the W13 does not yet have the pace of its Italian and Austrian rivals, Wolff admits that more must be extracted from the car.

"We just need to put more load in the car, more downforce and equally do that with a car that is not as low on the ground as we expected.

"It's a clear direction," he insisted. "You can see the cars going higher. This is where we need to find the performance."

Somehow - and stick with us here - as we wonder whether Toto is counting his chickens, we cannot help but hear his claim that the porpoising is solved without hearing it in an Inspector Clouseau voice, as in "the por-poising, it is sol-ved".

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READERS COMMENTS

 

1. Posted by kenji, 23/06/2022 14:40

"Would I be right in assuming that 'Machiavelli's apprentice' has been out maneouvred by the 'toxic twins'.?"

Rating: Positive (1)     Rate comment: Positive | NegativeReport this comment

2. Posted by flyinglap, 23/06/2022 12:27

"OK Toto, right... The spin this man is capable of, never ceases to amaze me. So, which is the real reason now behind this miraculous recovery: poor interpretation by the Mercedes team of the 2022 technical regulations and eventual improvement following trial and error (as every team should do; particularly so the "multi-billion franchise" Mercedes team that Toto is dreaming of), OR backtracking when Mercedes suddenly realized that the technical directive they had been pushing for would after all penalize themselves and not the rival teams?"

Rating: Positive (1)     Rate comment: Positive | NegativeReport this comment

3. Posted by MossMan, 22/06/2022 11:44

"As I always said - right back to the winter testing - this is quite a simple design problem which could be solved by tweaking aero and suspension. All the histrionics about endangering drivers, rule changes, bringing back active suspension etc. etc. made all concerned look like a bunch of drama queens from this aerospace engineer's point of view."

Rating: Positive (5)     Rate comment: Positive | NegativeReport this comment

4. Posted by aroutis, 22/06/2022 8:55

"If by solving he means that new part introduced by a TD that apart from that part that only Merc knew about (DAS everyone?), then I say, this TD is contested and banned.
Enough is enough. "

Rating: Positive (1)     Rate comment: Positive | NegativeReport this comment

5. Posted by Mad Matt, 22/06/2022 8:31

"So, if I pick this apart, it seems he's saying that the aero porpoising is solved but the suspension induced bouncing isn't??? But then he talks about riding kerbs (which the Ferrari seemed to do very well in Canada) but doesn't mention the bouncing we saw on the straights......

"

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6. Posted by kenji, 22/06/2022 8:00

"@ RobMartin...and Wolff called Horner disingenuous....?"

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7. Posted by RobMartin, 22/06/2022 7:00

"Is it coincidence that it is "solved" before a rule change that might affect Mercedes more? "

Rating: Positive (3)     Rate comment: Positive | NegativeReport this comment

8. Posted by Apexing, 21/06/2022 20:30

"Horner: "I thought you said your porpoise doesn't bite!"

Wolf: "That's not my porpoise!!""

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

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