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
How studying Schumacher helped make Coulthard a McLaren F1 mainstay Plus

How studying Schumacher helped make Coulthard a McLaren F1 mainstay

Winner of 13 grands prix including Monaco and survivor of a life-changing plane crash, David Coulthard could be forgiven for having eased into a quiet retirement – but, as MARK GALLAGHER explains, in fact he’s busier than ever, running an award-winning media company and championing diversity in motor racing. Not bad for someone who, by his own admission, wasn’t quite the fastest driver of his generation…

Could F1 move to a future beyond carbonfibre? Plus

Could F1 move to a future beyond carbonfibre?

Formula 1 has ambitious goals for improving its carbon footprint, but could this include banishing its favoured composite material? PAT SYMONDS considers the alternatives to carbonfibre and what use, if any, those materials have in a Formula 1 setting

Formula 1
Aug 6, 2022
How Russell has proven he deserves to be Hamilton's Mercedes heir Plus

How Russell has proven he deserves to be Hamilton's Mercedes heir

He’s fast, he’s smart, and he’s already shown he’s not going to let Max Verstappen intimidate him. George Russell won’t say it, but LUKE SMITH says he’s ready to take the lead at Mercedes when Lewis Hamilton moves on to a quieter life. And – whisper it – Mercedes and Lewis are starting to think so too

Formula 1
Aug 5, 2022
The traits that fuelled Alonso's unexpected Aston Martin move Plus

The traits that fuelled Alonso's unexpected Aston Martin move

Fernando Alonso’s bombshell switch to Aston Martin sent shockwaves through Formula 1, not least at Alpine that finds itself tangled in a contract standoff with Oscar Piastri. Not shy of a bold career move and with a CV punctuated by them, there were numerous hints that trouble was brewing

Formula 1
Aug 4, 2022
The elements Ferrari must resolve to first save face, then win championships Plus

The elements Ferrari must resolve to first save face, then win championships

OPINION: Ferrari's Formula 1 title hopes look all but over after another strategic blunder in last week's Hungarian Grand Prix denied Charles Leclerc the chance to fight for victory, while handing it to chief rival Max Verstappen. The Scuderia now faces intense scrutiny over what it must now do to finally become a genuine factor in championship battles

Formula 1
Aug 3, 2022
The clues about Hamilton’s F1 retirement plans revealed after Vettel’s decision Plus

The clues about Hamilton’s F1 retirement plans revealed after Vettel’s decision

OPINION: Sebastian Vettel is set to leave Formula 1 at the end of 2022 and will, rather shockingly, be replaced by Fernando Alonso at Aston Martin. But what about the final chapter of the other driver that defined the post-Michael Schumacher era? In Hungary, Lewis Hamilton spoke about his future in the context of Vettel’s upcoming departure, which offered clues on how long it will last

Formula 1
Aug 2, 2022
Why all signs point to F1’s Monaco special relationship continuing Plus

Why all signs point to F1’s Monaco special relationship continuing

OPINION: With more potential venues than there are slots in future calendars, rumours have been circulating that the Monaco Grand Prix could be a casualty of F1’s expansion into new markets. But MARK GALLAGHER thinks this is highly unlikely

Formula 1
Aug 2, 2022
Hungarian Grand Prix Driver Ratings 2022 Plus

Hungarian Grand Prix Driver Ratings 2022

The Hungarian Grand Prix race result, after a dry race held without safety car conditions, bore little resemblance to what was anticipated after qualifying. While certain drivers were nullified by some iffy strategy calls, others shone to grasp opportunities afforded to them in the last F1 race before the summer break

Formula 1
Aug 1, 2022