Mercedes would have broken FIA porpoising limit in Baku

Mercedes has admitted that it would have fallen foul of Formula 1’s new porpoising limits if they had been in place at the Azerbaijan Grand Prix.

Mercedes would have broken FIA porpoising limit in Baku

The FIA has stepped in to try to minimise cars bouncing after drivers expressed concerns about their safety, with them being subjected to heavy impacts inside of the cockpits.

As part of its efforts, the governing body is to introduce an Aerodynamic Oscillation Metric (AOM) from the French Grand Prix that limits the vertical forces cars are allowed to operate with.

Teams can risk exclusion from an event if they consistently break the limit, but will be given some extra leeway this season while they adjust to the restrictions.

ANALYSIS: The complex equation behind F1's porpoising clampdown

While teams are confident that their cars will not need any modifications to comply with the new metric going forward, Mercedes says that analysis of recent grands prix shows it would have broken the metric at the Baku race last month.

It was there that George Russell voiced his concerns to the FIA about safety implications and the bouncing that drivers faced, and Lewis Hamilton hobbled from his car at the end of the race due to the punishment his back took from striking the track.

George Russell, Mercedes W13

George Russell, Mercedes W13

Photo by: Andy Hone / Motorsport Images

Mercedes technical director Mike Elliott said the latest draft technical directive (TD) issued this week remained a work in progress as there was a lot of work to go through.

“From what we've heard from the FIA, I think it's something they're going to have to sort of work on and build and work out how it's going to work pragmatically,” he explained ahead of the British Grand Prix.

“Going back over a few races using that metric, Baku is one we wouldn't have passed. But if you look at where we were yesterday, we wouldn't have even triggered the metric.

“It is going to be interesting to see how it is applied and how it is used through the season, because none of us wants to be bouncing. We're not trying to develop into that position.”

Elliott said one of the uncertainties he had about the imposition of the limit would be what happens if teams struggle to get below the limit.

“The question becomes, if you are exceeding the metric, can you actually fix it during a race weekend?” he asked. “I don't think any of us want to see cars not taking parts and cars thrown out, because they're not able to get on top of those issues.

“I think time will tell whether that metric can be done in the right way, or whether that can sort of push things in the right way without ending up damaging the show. We'll see what happens. I'm sure the FIA are conscious of it.”

While the Azerbaijan event triggered the most extreme bouncing of the season so far, thanks to the bumpy track surface, Elliott thinks there could be problems ahead at the Hungaroring.

“Certainly the last few circuits where we have seen quite a lot of bouncing, I think it is just because the circuits are quite bumpy and with very stiff cars,” he said.

“I think when you look forward to say Budapest, it might be challenging for teams for the same reason.

“But at the same time, I think we're all getting on top of our issues. We're understanding those issues and developing the cars. So hopefully, we can sort of move away from that.”

shares
comments

Related video

F1 British GP: Verstappen leads Red Bull 1-2 in final practice
Previous article

F1 British GP: Verstappen leads Red Bull 1-2 in final practice

Next article

F1 Grand Prix qualifying results: Sainz takes British GP pole

F1 Grand Prix qualifying results: Sainz takes British GP pole
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
The other McLaren exile hoping to follow Perez's path to a top F1 seat Plus

The other McLaren exile hoping to follow Perez's path to a top F1 seat

After being ditched by McLaren earlier in his F1 career Sergio Perez fought his way back into a seat with a leading team. BEN EDWARDS thinks the same could be happening to another member of the current grid

Formula 1
Aug 8, 2022
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…

Formula 1
Aug 7, 2022
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