Russell: "Only a matter of time" before "dangerous" bouncing causes incident

Mercedes driver George Russell believes it is "only a matter of time" before Formula 1's "dangerous" bouncing issues will cause a major incident.

Russell: "Only a matter of time" before "dangerous" bouncing causes incident

To varying degrees Formula 1 teams have suffered from either porpoising or bouncing with the 2022 era cars, which are being run as close to the ground as possible to maximise performance from the ground effect.

Therefore, the ride of the current crop of cars is extremely stiff, which is causing a lot of drivers to constantly bottom out on the straights.

The issue was amplified in Baku where many teams up and down the paddock were suffering from the effect on the 2.2km long straight. And because of the high-speed nature of the street circuit, drivers voiced their concerns on whether the phenomenon has become a safety hazard rather than just an annoying inconvenience, and whether it was okay for them to continue facing the issue for years to come.

Talks were held in Friday night's drivers' briefing on whether teams should sort the issue out themselves or whether the FIA should step in and enforce tweaks on health and safety grounds.

Russell, whose Mercedes team is one of the outfits that struggles the most with bouncing, thinks it's "just a matter of time before we see a major incident" when the issue rears its head on high-speed circuits.

"I think it's just a matter of time before we see a major incident," he said after Azerbaijan Grand Prix qualifying.

"A lot of us kind of can barely keep the car in a straight line over these bumps, we're going round the last two corners at 300 kilometres an hour, bottoming out, you can visibly see on the tarmac how close the cars are running to the ground.

"Even Formula 2 are in the same position as well, they've got a similar sort of philosophy. And it's sort of just unnecessary with the technology we have in today's environment. It just seemed unnecessary that we're running a Formula 1 car over 200 miles an hour, millimetres from the ground."

George Russell, Mercedes-AMG

George Russell, Mercedes-AMG

Photo by: Glenn Dunbar / Motorsport Images

Russell said that F1 needs a rethink on the current technical regulations, although he argued Mercedes "wasn't massively in favour" of tweaks as it would interfere with the team trying to catch up to Red Bull and Ferrari.

"It's a recipe for disaster. So yeah, I don't really know what the future holds. But I don't think we can sustain this for three years or however long these regulations are enforced for," he explained.

"For what it's worth, we're not as massively in favour of it as a team because every race we do, we're learning more and more about the car. Any changes are going to limit that learning.

"I think the top three teams are also in the same position, Ferrari and Red Bull. Ferrari probably more than Red Bull as you can clearly see that they're really struggling with that and nobody's doing it for performance enhancement, it's because of safety reasons.

Read Also:

"I can barely see the braking zone because I'm bouncing around so much and you get around that last corner, you have walls either side of you doing almost 200 miles an hour, and the car is bouncing up and down on the floor.

"It's not a very comfortable position to be in, so as a group we need a bit of a rethink. It's definitely dangerous."

shares
comments
Hamilton refutes Baku F1 stewards' call for alleged slow driving infraction
Previous article

Hamilton refutes Baku F1 stewards' call for alleged slow driving infraction

Next article

F1 Azerbaijan Grand Prix – Start time, how to watch, & more

F1 Azerbaijan Grand Prix – Start time, how to watch, & more
The relaxed home life that helps F1’s Danish superstar to deliver Plus

The relaxed home life that helps F1’s Danish superstar to deliver

The unrelenting grasp of the tax man prompts most racing drivers to move to the likes of Monaco, Switzerland or Dubai. But, as OLEG KARPOV found out, Kevin Magnussen is quite happy where he is, thank you very much – at home, with his family, in Denmark

Formula 1
Oct 5, 2022
How Perez has shown what many F1 drivers need from the 2022 season run-in Plus

How Perez has shown what many F1 drivers need from the 2022 season run-in

OPINION: Sergio Perez’s Singapore triumph arrested a big decline in his Formula 1 performances against Max Verstappen at Red Bull since his Monaco win. He now needs to maintain his form to the season’s end, while others are also seeking a change in fortunes

Formula 1
Oct 5, 2022
How the FIA should punish any breaches of the F1 cost cap Plus

How the FIA should punish any breaches of the F1 cost cap

OPINION: On Wednesday, the FIA will issue F1 teams with compliance certificates if they stuck to the 2021 budget cap. But amid rumours of overspending, the governing body must set a critical precedent. It needs to carefully pick between revisiting the bitterness of Abu Dhabi, a contradictory punishment and ensuring parity for the rest of the ground-effect era

Formula 1
Oct 4, 2022
Singapore Grand Prix Driver Ratings 2022 Plus

Singapore Grand Prix Driver Ratings 2022

A testing return to the Singapore Grand Prix in tricky conditions created plenty of hazards and mistakes for the Formula 1 drivers to fall into. That partly explains a number of low scores, including from a handful of high profile runners, allowing others to take a starring role under the floodlights

Formula 1
Oct 3, 2022
The two key contributors to Leclerc's defeat to Perez in F1's 2022 Singapore GP Plus

The two key contributors to Leclerc's defeat to Perez in F1's 2022 Singapore GP

In a marathon Formula 1 Singapore Grand Prix, Sergio Perez’s victory was only assured hours after the race due to a stewards investigation. Throughout the contest the Red Bull driver impressively held off Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc in changing conditions to see the Mexican pull out enough of an advantage to negate his post-race penalty

Formula 1
Oct 3, 2022
The time-honoured manufacturer model that can't apply to all F1 teams Plus

The time-honoured manufacturer model that can't apply to all F1 teams

What happens, asks MATT KEW, if the old adage of win on a Sunday, sell on a Monday is no longer true for F1 manufacturers?

Formula 1
Oct 2, 2022
Why is Oscar Piastri F1's most sought-after rookie? Plus

Why is Oscar Piastri F1's most sought-after rookie?

The Australian rising star is fast, consistent, confident, adaptable and has shown excellent racecraft, but there’s already a taint to his reputation. That hasn’t stopped him becoming the hottest property in this year’s F1 driver market and why McLaren moved fast to snap up the 21-year-old

Formula 1
Sep 30, 2022
The unintended benefit that F1's new engine rules era will deliver Plus

The unintended benefit that F1's new engine rules era will deliver

Formula 1's incoming engine rules shake-up has multiple targets. But it may also solve what has been a bone of contention since the hybrids arrived in 2014. The new plan will allow the series to pump up the volume

Formula 1
Sep 29, 2022