Russell Reveals He’s Battling Back And Chest Pains From Mercedes’ Bouncing – WTF1
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Russell Reveals He’s Battling Back And Chest Pains From Mercedes’ Bouncing

Drivers spend months physically and mentally preparing and training for the enormous task that is racing in F1. However, the one consequence of the new ground effect cars is putting an even bigger toll on their health – the bouncing.

Although the issue isn’t unique to Mercedes, it’s obvious that the W13 is one of the worst affected as they tried to deal with the almost violent bobbing along Imola’s straights over the weekend.

For George Russell, charging his way from 11th to fourth came with a heavy price. He confessed that the problem was that severe, it left him struggling in pain and he’s not sure how much longer he and other drivers can continue to race like this.

“The bouncing really takes your breath away, it’s the most extreme I’ve ever felt it,” Russell noted, as quoted by The Race.

“This is the first weekend where I’ve truly been struggling with my back, and almost like chest pains from the severity of the bouncing, but it’s what we have to do to get the fastest lap times out of the car.”

Even his team boss Toto Wolff wondered how his drivers could “even keep the car on track at times”. The issue only seems to be getting worse for the Brit and concerned about the impact the bouncing is having on him, George is desperate for it to be fixed.

“I really hope we find a solution, and I hope every team who is struggling with the bouncing finds a solution because it’s not sustainable for the drivers to continue with this level.”

This isn’t the first time Russell’s flagged his worries about the bouncing. Previously calling it a “safety concern” at pre-season testing, last time out in Australia, he’d called his experiences behind the wheel the “most severe” up until last weekend.

The drivers’ health has to be put first. Hopefully, the FIA will take comments like these seriously and step in to tackle the problem before it gets even worse.

Should F1 do something to tackle the ‘bouncing’ problem? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.

12 thoughts on “Russell Reveals He’s Battling Back And Chest Pains From Mercedes’ Bouncing

  • Nova Scotia What? says:

    Outside of black flagging everyone who porpoises too much, what can the FIA do really?

    It is not like the FIA can fix the teams design issues for them. Adding a minimum ride height or something like that would defeat the regs entire purpose, and would be completely unfair to the teams that developed their cars to not have the issue.

      • Nova Scotia What? says:

        And when Ferrari still runs their cars as they have been then what? Ferrari is not gonna throw away points to Red Bull if they are not made to. What is the stick that will make them comply? Will they start black flagging the championship leader?

        I am not against it if they deem it unsafe but it would be super controversial.

  • I wonder if the radical push for financial sustainability is whats compromising driver sustainability?
    Could the recently discarded suspension ‘inerters’ have reduced this issue?

  • Alfred Stephen says:

    This is absurd. Leclerc’s car was porpoising and he said he barely noticed it. Everyone porpoises and if Mercedes cars do it more, that doesn’t mean that FIA should tweak the regulation to allow for things like active suspension to make Mercedes more competitive. If a Mercedes driver feels uncomfortable, then adjust the setting and compromise on performance until he likes it. When McLaren struggles with underpowered Honda engine, they didn’t setup their car to have ultra low downforce to get straight line speed and then ask FIA to allow four-wheel steering to minimize understeer.

    • I believe driver safety should be top priority. FIA should collect accelerometer data from all teams and consult it with medical experts if that can cause any long lasting health issues. If so add to regulation for next year the maximum allowed vertical g and maximum time it can be exceeded throughout the race (not to dsq someone who hit a bump to hard).

      • Maybe the FIA should just tell Merc to fix their problem or they will be black flagged since its a driver safety issue. Other teams have figured it out.

        • Don’t get me wrong, I am no fan of Merc and I enjoy the battle between two best drivers on the grid (today) that we have this year. I hope for 3rd team to join the fight but I would definitely prefer it to be Mclaren. I simply don’t want Charles to retire prematurely due to some health issues caused by proposing. That’s why I think FIA should still consult experts if that can cause some long lasting effects if drivers are exposed for longer periods.

  • charlie richards says:

    I just think active suspension should come back, perhaps with a certain degree of standardisation, like engine modes, the software controlling it is regulated, or spec, while I still want the racing to be raw, I think it allows for much more exciting potential for the cars and the spectacle

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