Mercedes claims its F1 car porpoising issue is now "solved"

Mercedes believes it has solved its main porpoising problems in Formula 1, and instead its issues are now caused by how stiff and low it needs to run its car.

Mercedes claims its F1 car porpoising issue is now "solved"

The Brackley-based team has had a difficult start to the 2022 campaign, with its W13 suffering from both a bouncing and bottoming out problem.

The phenomenon has been so bad on its cars that complaints from George Russell and Lewis Hamilton about the physical pain they are enduring has triggered FIA intervention to help the situation.

But after an encouraging Canadian Grand Prix weekend, where the team was at perhaps its most competitive in terms of pace so far this season as it finished third and fourth, team boss Toto Wolff has revealed how the squad's focus has changed.

He believes the Montreal weekend has shown that the porpoising issue – where the car moves up and down as load increases on the straight – has been eradicated after work the team has done.

But as a result of the super stiff and low rideheight set-up that Mercedes has needed to get its car working properly, the issue for it now is how much the car strikes the ground when the circuit is bumpy.

"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," he explained.

"It is more that the ride of the cars is really what causes the comments of the drivers. 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."

Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes W13

Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes W13

Photo by: Zak Mauger / Motorsport Images

Wolff thinks the progress that Mercedes has made on porpoising has put its car in a similar set-up window to rivals, who also appear to be suffering from how stiff things need to be run.

"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. The lower the kerbs, the less we see this phenomenon."

Read Also:

With Canada highlighting that Mercedes still needed to bring more performance to the car, Wolff says key for making progress was in trying to unlock more pace from the car at a wider range of rideheights.

"I think 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," he said.

"It's a clear direction: you can see the cars going higher. And this is where we need to find the performance."

shares
comments

Related video

How Sainz could have won the Canadian GP for Ferrari
Previous article

How Sainz could have won the Canadian GP for Ferrari

Next article

10 things we learned from the 2022 Canadian Grand Prix

10 things we learned from the 2022 Canadian Grand Prix
The 10 stories to watch out for across the rest of the 2022 F1 season Plus

The 10 stories to watch out for across the rest of the 2022 F1 season

It’s 13 down, nine to go as the Formula 1 teams pause for breath in the summer break. But what can we expect to happen over the next three months from Belgium to Abu Dhabi? Here's the key storylines to keep an eye out for the rest of the 2022 season

The inconvenient truth about F1’s ‘American driver’ dream Plus

The inconvenient truth about F1’s ‘American driver’ dream

OPINION: The Formula 1 grid's wait for a new American driver looks set to continue into 2023 as the few remaining places up for grabs - most notably at McLaren - look set to go elsewhere. This is despite the Woking outfit giving tests to IndyCar aces recently, showing that the Stateside single-seater series still has some way to go to being seen as a viable feeder option for F1

Formula 1
Aug 17, 2022
How a bad car creates the ultimate engineering challenge Plus

How a bad car creates the ultimate engineering challenge

While creating a car that is woefully off the pace is a nightmare scenario for any team, it inadvertently generates the test any engineering department would relish: to turn it into a winner. As Mercedes takes on that challenge in Formula 1 this season, McLaren’s former head of vehicle engineering reveals how the team pulled of the feat in 2009 with Lewis Hamilton

Formula 1
Aug 15, 2022
The under-fire F1 driver fighting for his future Plus

The under-fire F1 driver fighting for his future

Personable, articulate 
and devoid of the usual
 racing driver airs and graces,
 Nicholas Latifi is the last Formula 1 driver you’d expect to receive death threats, but such was the toxic legacy of his part in last year’s explosive season finale. And now, as ALEX KALINAUCKAS explains, he faces a battle to keep his place on the F1 grid…

Formula 1
Aug 13, 2022
The strange tyre travails faced by F1’s past heroes Plus

The strange tyre travails faced by F1’s past heroes

Modern grand prix drivers like to think the tyres they work with are unusually difficult and temperamental. But, says  MAURICE HAMILTON, their predecessors faced many of the same challenges – and some even stranger…

Formula 1
Aug 12, 2022
The returning fan car revolution that could suit F1 Plus

The returning fan car revolution that could suit F1

Gordon Murray's Brabham BT46B 'fan car' was Formula 1 engineering at perhaps its most outlandish. Now fan technology has been successfully utilised on the McMurtry Speirling at the Goodwood Festival of Speed, could it be adopted by grand prix racing once again?

Formula 1
Aug 11, 2022
Hamilton's first experience of turning silver into gold Plus

Hamilton's first experience of turning silver into gold

The seven-time Formula 1 world champion has been lumbered with a duff car before the 2022 Mercedes. Back in 2009, McLaren’s alchemists transformed the disastrous MP4-24 into a winning car with Lewis Hamilton at the wheel. And now it’s happening again at his current team, but can the rate of progress be matched this year?

Formula 1
Aug 11, 2022
Why few could blame Leclerc for following the example of Hamilton’s exit bombshell Plus

Why few could blame Leclerc for following the example of Hamilton’s exit bombshell

OPINION: Ferrari's numerous strategy blunders, as well as some of his own mistakes, have cost Charles Leclerc dearly in the 2022 Formula 1 title battle in the first half of the season. Though he is locked into a deal with Ferrari, few could blame Leclerc if he ultimately wanted to look elsewhere - just as Lewis Hamilton did with McLaren 10 years prior

Formula 1
Aug 9, 2022