The porpoising problem still seems to be far from being solved, for some teams more than others. Mercedes is having serious repercussions, which mainly affect the health of the drivers. Despite the technology, resources and engineers available, after 4 months, the problem has not yet been solved, as the recent Azerbaijan GP clearly highlighted.
Both Mercedes' drivers, George Russell and especially Lewis Hamilton appeared very sore at the end of the last race held in Baku, when they could not even communicate via radio on the straights, because they were phisically unable to do it, subjected to the constant jumps of the W13.
“I don’t think so at that time, no” Lewis Hamilton said, during a press conference with Motorlat.com and other selected media, when he was asked whether he would have been able to meet the FIA extraction time limit - that is of 10 seconds – in Baku, during the last race.
“It was excruciatingly painful at that time, so I feel just grateful I was able to get out, but definitely not with the speed you are supposed to”.
To the long-term physical health, which is put at risk by the drivers, there are also issues regarding safety on the track.
“Safety is the most important thing,” – Hamilton underlined - “I think in every team someone has complained about porpoising. We have to solve the problem for us and the future drivers.
“We definitely can’t stress how important health is for us. We want to do our job but race the safest. There’s no need for us to have long-term injuries. We need to work closely with the FIA and not take it lightly, which I don’t think they are.”
He then explained how Mercedes tried to stem the problem and how, by lifting the car, the issue was however not solved at all.
“In the last race and previous races, we have raised the car, and you still have bouncing,” the seven-time world champion admitted.
“Porpoising, it’s more about the flow structure underneath the car – so we run the car very high most season and it’s not until Barcelona that we started to be able to get it a little bit lower and we had no bouncing for the first time in Barcelona, except for the high-speed corners.
“Even when we raised the car [in Monaco and Baku, to deal with the bumps], this thing still bounces.
“And we can’t go any higher, actually. We’re limited by the rear suspension now.”