The new Formula 1 monoposts are bouncing on the track like pigs in the sea. The riders have back problems, the nightmare designers and the team bosses.
Porpoising – This special word moves the world of F1. His equivalent of “whining” probably won’t tell you much either.
Therefore, we must first dive below sea level. It is there that a cetacean with the scientific name porpoise moves near the shore.
A dolphin-like mammal up to 1.9 meters long moves up and down in the water by swinging the tail fin and lower body vertically. And a similar regular up and down movement bothers a new generation of Formula 1 monoposts.
This is due to the so-called suction effect. This year, after decades of bans, he returned to the construction of cars in order to make races more attractive by simplifying overtaking.
The formulas are no longer so “scattered” in the trailer behind another car and it is better to maneuver them. But the tax for that is jumping on straights.
The faster you drive, the more the car wants to be literally attached to the track. But if it gets too close to the surface, the air flow will stop. This means that the resulting pressure disappears like a magic wand and the car jumps up again. But there he immediately begins to have a suction effect again. And this is how it repeats on the plane several times a second.
The wildest jumps are performed by Mercedes monoposts. Even after the race in Baku, which is famous for its long fast straights, Lewis Hamilton complained: “I haven’t felt so bad in Formula One yet. The back pain was so unpleasant that I was seriously thinking about giving up the race.”
This was caught by the boss of the Silver Arrows, Toto Wolff, who calls for an immediate change in technical regulations. “It’s about the health of the pilots,” calls the Austrian manager indignantly.
Porpoise Photo: Wikimedia Commons – Ecomare – Bruinvis Michael (CC BY-SA 4.0)
At the same time, his statements reflect the desire to end this year’s dominance of the Red Bull and Ferrari, which the new Mercedes does not have yet.
That’s why Wolff immediately irritated Red Bull’s boss. “Changing the rules in the middle of the season is unacceptable. Mercedes is to blame for the problems, they have the wrong choice of chassis stiffness,” opposes Christian Horner.
The International Automobile Federation (FIA) added fuel to the fire, sending out technical directives to reduce “whining” shortly before the start of Canada’s Grand Prix this weekend.
This aroused general wonder, because at that time everyone was interested on the way to Montreal. “These technical directives are not applicable to us. It’s just a recommendation, not a change of rules,” Ferrari boss Mattia Binotto said sharply, adding that if they followed these directives at Scuderie, it could end up excluding their cars from the Grand Prix.
The road to solving problems with jumping formulas will be long and difficult. Top teams in particular would like to avoid the prophecy of the first Haas man, Guenther Steiner. He recently said: “The introduction of these directives would totally change the order in the races.”