Toto Wolff Has Issued A Serious Warning If F1 Porpoising Continues – WTF1
76 comments

Toto Wolff Has Issued A Serious Warning If F1 Porpoising Continues

In what Lewis Hamilton described as “the most painful race I’ve experienced”, porpoising was as prominent as ever in Baku. If it continues, it could lead to some pretty big consequences! 

Hamilton was visibly shaken after his gruelling physical test in Baku, as his Mercedes bounced through the race weekend.

Mercedes boss, Toto Wolff, has been one of the most vocal advocators for fixing the porpoising issue on these cars and even warned his drivers could miss races because of it.

When asked Hamilton could miss the next race in Canada, Wolff said: “Yeah, definitely. I haven’t seen him and I haven’t spoken to him afterwards, but you can see this is not muscular anymore. I mean, this goes properly into the spine and can have some consequences.”

He added: “We have just got to find a solution. At this stage I think he (Lewis) is maybe the worst affected from all drivers. But pretty much everyone, as far as I understood from the drivers, said that something needs to happen. But I couldn’t give you an explanation what that is.”

George Russell continued his steady stream of good performances in Baku, but his back definitely paid the price. Speaking to Sky Sports, Russell said “I was really happy to see the race come to a close because it was just smashing the ground every single corner on every single lap for over an hour and a half.”

He added: “Either you’re porpoising and the car is bouncing up and down off the road or you have to run the car millimetres from the ground and you’re just hitting the floor lap after lap.” 

It was a valiant and brave drive for the Mercedes duo in Baku and we hope they can both recover before their visit to Canada next weekend!

76 thoughts on “Toto Wolff Has Issued A Serious Warning If F1 Porpoising Continues

  • Sven Steinert says:

    what does he want? mercedes is free to build a car that is comfy enough for sir lewis carl davidson hamilton-larbalestier

    • Geoff Arnold says:

      So your first reaction is not one of concern for drivers’ (plural) health and safety…. Must suck to be you.

      • Sven Steinert says:

        why should it be my concern? if redbull can manage to build a car that doesnt wreck its drivers, then mercedes should just invest money to do the same, instead they have gone crazy and built 2 cars pre season just to mess with its competitors. i frankly enjoy seeing this arrogance backfire finally.

          • Sven Steinert says:

            they managed to build a fucking mock car to “confuse” the competition, they better would have spent that money on fixing the issue. here is what i mean: they bring a car they are not going to use to a test, purpoising is not that big of a deal on that car. now they scrap their mock car and bring out the real one to the last test days, where everyone thought they were going to be a second faster than the rest (including them) but they got reality checked VERY bad. while others had 2 weeks time to fix purpoising, mercedes was stuck with the shitbox they have because there was no time to develop a fix until the season started. now they are screwed. its no ones fault except mercedes.

          • Really? You think Toto needs to travel in his private jet? You think they need top of the line comforts for the team?

            They refuse to fix their issue at the expense of performance. They are a back of the grid team and haven’t accepted it yet so they keep punishing their drivers. They have the solutions but refuse to implement it. Merc, Toto, and all you fan boys can go pound sand. RB and the rest are doing just fine.

          • AdrianInFlorida says:

            But other teams did manage to do it. Maybe if Mercedes hadn’t spent
            Money on the publicly stunt of a car with sidepods in Barcelona, then, no sidepods in Bahrain, they’d have some cash to spend to protect their drivers from injury.

        • Just like I so look forward to horner and verstappen being exposed for what they really are,arrogant,cheating, whiners.

      • lets be honest the best health and safety advice for all of them is the same….don’t be an f1 driver. also nobody cares about having drivers out there who clearly aren’t good enough or cars that aren’t competitive and those are much bigger health and safety issues.

      • Why should we be concerned if the team itself prioritizes performance over the drivers well being?

  • I think the FIA should make a regulation that limits this like the flexible wing tests although they check if it porpoises excessively while the car is running.

    If it does then the car is disqualified. At least this way the drivers health is protected and Mercedes isn’t given an unfair advantage and forced to raise their ride height.

    • Sven Steinert says:

      agreed, they could give out a certain g-force limit, vertical g force is recorded and if you exceed a contingent, you get the black/orange flag and are out of the race. very simple. penalizing teams that managed to build a proper working car cant be done because one team cant manage to get theirs working.

    • Bull. With every set of regulations each team builds the best possible drivable car. If Mercedes can’t build a winning car, why forcing the teams who make it work to lose their advantage?

      • How is it forcing anyone to lose their advantage. If Redbull isn’t porpoising excessively then I don’t see how any test will affect them? It will just force teams like Mercedes to increase their ride height because they chose performance over their drivers health.

    • Paul Stafford says:

      I completely agree. Any car seen porpoising after first practice should be black flagged. Three black flags in the weekend and you’re disqualified for the remainder of the weekend.

  • Geoff Arnold says:

    During today’s race, there was that moment when Hamilton came on the radio and said, “The seat’s gone cold.” I know I wasn’t the first person to wonder about spinal injury….

    • I’m suspicious of any messages coming out of the Merc boys re pain / porpoising right now. It’s clear the team is politicking hard to get a beneficial rule change.

      • why change the rules in the first place, to give the other teams an advantage, to fix the race for that cry baby verstappen like they did the end of last season.

        • Rich Crosswell says:

          I didn’t see Max crying.

          In the future – maybe they can leave lapped backmarker cars between Hamilton (if he is the race leader) and all other cars. You know – to make a rolling roadblock to prevent *competitive* cars from approaching Lewis….. >IF< he every leads a race again.
          Hammy's feelings need to be protected at all costs.

      • AdrianInFlorida says:

        Yeah, Lewis deserves a friggin Oscar for all of his radio acting. “Oh, are there points for 10th?”. “The bouncing is so bad, man”, “why am I behind xx?”

      • why change the rules in the first place, they will just fix it for the cry baby verstappen anyway wont they svenny boy you jealous little swedish sounding dutch loving monkey you

      • Ben Burnett says:

        How many championships has Hamilton got? If it was me, you would have to take me out of the car with paramedics support. That’s why he’s still in the car. The man is suffering. As a man of slightly an older age I understand the limitations. Never give up sir Lewis.

        • AdrianInFlorida says:

          And this year, he’s not in the dominant car…. Wonder why the GOAT isn’t leading the championship?

    • Wolf Den Auto says:

      Good lord….and if he said oh look the Caspian sea looks tan I bet you start thinking brain damage from the extra porposing in the Mercedes

      Raise the ride height get rid of bounce. Oh yeah. Slower lap times.
      Can’t have that going on.

      Oh the self entitlement from Mercedes never ends.

      BTW…Geirge Russell looked pretty spry hopping on the 3rd place pidium.

      I bet you a wooden nickel if Hamilton finished top 3 we don’t see the …oh my poor back display climbing out the car.

      Rause the ride height!!!!

  • F1 drivers behave like poor employees that are afraid that they will be fired. They must not accept to drive the junk that the teams provide to them.

    • Why doesn’t Hamilton demand they raise the ride height then? Simply because he would be fighting Latifi for last place. We all make choices in life and Merc has decided Hamilton better accept pain for higher up the grid.

      • That is my point! Mercedes decided! Why Sir Lewis Hamilton has to accept this stupid decision and destroy his back?

        • The argument is “the teams” are putting performance over safety. Sorry but Ham isn’t a first year driver afraid to speak up. He is there as long as he wants to be. He can and will dictate the setup of the car. He has earned the position to do and say what he wants. For Merc to put on this ridiculous show is beneath them.

  • Jason Bourke says:

    If it was all drivers complaining of their backs being in huge pain I could get on board with the FIA stepping in, in some form. But the fact that it’s really only Mercedes to me means they should sort it out themselves. Like the other teams have…

    • Rionniel Viray says:

      Pretty sure all of the drivers’ with porpoising car will say this. Even red bull’s Pierre Gasly said that he’s back hurts so much and you can see it during their media obligation after the race. Same goes with Daniel. It’s not just Mercedes, but they are just the most vocal about it.

  • jon kistler says:

    Mercedes is more than capable of raising their car losing performance and not hurting Hamilton. But they don’t want to do that.

  • Ben Burnett says:

    How much do you think the drivers insurance policies will rise? Any one who can’t see the impact of their; back,
    spine/ vertebrate is blind.

    • It would be the insurance policies for just Charles and Ham. Merc would be liable because they can’t design a car to protect their drivers.

      • Wolf Den Auto says:

        It’s not the design..It’s the ignorance of having a car so low to be competitive It’s bouncing iff the cement.
        Raise ride height… no more problem…oh…except for lap times.

        • The fact Lando called them out after the race was pure beauty. I have to say the podcast was very fair in debating the issue. Can’t say as much for their parent company The Race. They are so full of Mercedes’ kool-aid its laughable.

  • Just raise the car? If you need to make it stop and go slower it sounds like you have a slow car. Start working on something that works for next year.

  • Toto, maybe you need to start over with a new car design. Norris says you have the solution and refuse to implement it. This blatant politicking to get the FIA to help Merc shows how far the mighty have fallen.

  • Mira, Toto, yo te lo explico: Fernando está diciendo a todos que no tienen huevos, él es el que tiene más edad y no se queja del porpoising, si quieres un buen piloto, trata de fichar a Fernando y despide al conguito llorón

  • phil dinizo says:

    We are all for driver safety. They all design and run under the same rules. The same formula. The clear fact is that not all the cars are experiencing the porpoising at the extreme level as Mercedes. Hence, their design is crap. Their problem, not an FIA rules problem. The only difference between the bouncing Mercedes and the very stabile Red Bull… Adrian Newey.

  • I think Mercedes spent to much money extending contract with entertainment driver, lewis is water under bridge, his luck has left him, Merc. should of sign up non complainer,

  • Rich Crosswell says:

    Hamilton – A Haiku

    by Max

    Slow down Lewis

    A dear, slow Hamilton drives

    betrayed by the car

  • The little number Lewis played taking forever to climb out of the car was beyond sad. Every other driver jumped out without any theatrics. And if Alonso, who’s 40, is not complaining, either Lewis is in really bad shape or is faking it.
    But I guess we all knew that if Mercedes continued to be far behind RedBull and Ferrari, they were going to find a way to cry their way up, even if the car continues to be a loser.

    • Jeff Wallace says:

      If lewis is really is such bad shape.. he should not be driving a f1 car, they should have a backup driver in it. My guess that is what this is about since he had zero chance of winning a race this year.

    • So he goes from 7 time world champion to finishing mid-pack with back problems, and you think it is all an act?

  • Johan Breytenbach says:

    Remember the infamous Indianapolis GP…and the Italian GP with the tyre concerns? F1 has always been about who can overcome and outsmart the opponent. I can guarantee you if the issue was reversed, Toto and Lewis would have said…”tough luck” why should we compromise to benefit Red Bull or Ferrari…Lewis looks like a mediocre fool because he has no idea how to work closely with mechanics and engineers in solutions…Remember when Schumacher went to a dismal Ferrari?….working 18 hour days and nights in the garage with mechanics? A true value of a world champion is not by the numbers of titles….but how you are able to not blame everyone else and take a dismal car beyond and win …..The mere fact that Russel totally obliterates Hamilton is a true reflection of real talent in very difficult circumstances

  • Something needs to happen? You don’t know what that is? Here’s a tip for free: raise your car. Problem solved in seconds. Mercedes are just sore losers, both figuratively and literally 😅

  • If the harsh ride is likely to injure drivers then the FIA should set a limit on g-forces and cycles (the sensors are already in the cars), penalising teams that use a dangerous set-up. Then Mercedes would have to improve the car or run it with more ground clearance.

  • Raise the minimum ride height FIA. Lol that’ll fix um. Then they’ll wished they hadn’t complained.

    • AdrianInFlorida says:

      Why should the teams who have managed the problem be penalized with a raised ride height? Make the teams with the problem (Mercedes) eliminate the bouncing, within the rules, or DQ them

  • MB has a fix for porpoising, they can raise the ride height, so what is the problem? BTW, LW44 is great at being a primadonna

  • Justin Sandy says:

    Is a seat with some sort of dampening out of the question? Would it be a quicker fix to add that too all the cars that way you don’t have to worry about the added weight being a disadvantage.

    • Yes, that is illegal in the regs. Sounds like a simple fix but the fact Hamilton is uncomfortable and Norris is comfortable comes down to the team putting performance as a priority. That is straight from Norris after the race.

      The solution is simple but Mercedes cannot stand that they built a crap car and are done for the season. They decided to play games and build two cars preseason to hide their “stellar” zero side pod design and now they are going to have cost cap problems to create a competitive car this year.

      BooHoo…

  • Pete Montero says:

    This is a design issue specific to particular cars, not the concept of this year’s formula. If a team has this issue, it should be handled the same as any other undrivable car: Let them suffer because of their failings or find a way out of this problem.

    Hamilton needs to refuse to drive the car until it’s fixed.

  • Jack Williams says:

    Toto should either put up or shut up! If it’s unsafe pull the team out.
    All the moaning is not making their case any stronger, unless of course the ex-Mercedes (Toto’s) special advisor now at FIA is listening.

  • Change your car set up……your hurting your driver because you don’t want to lose performance…..ya screwed up, fix it yourselves and quit crying for rule changes!

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