Russell: Extreme porposing 'not sustainable' for F1 drivers


George Russell says the porpoising suffered by Mercedes' car at Imola was the most extreme he has experienced this season, insisting the phenomenon is physically "not sustainable" for drivers.

Four race into the 2022 season, Mercedes has yet to get on top of its porposing issues, the chronic effect that sees a car bounce vertically at a high frequency at high speed on the straights.

The phenomenon is a direct consequence of F1's new ground effect regulations and has impacted every team's design to varying degrees.

Some teams, like Red Bull, have managed to mitigate the problem without compromising their car's performance. But Mercedes has so far struggled to find the right compromise.

"When the car is in the right window and the tyres are in the right window, the car - except for the bouncing - feels really good to drive," explained Russell.

"But the bouncing, it really takes your breath away. It's the most extreme I've ever felt it.

"I really hope we find a solution and I hope every team struggling with the bouncing finds a solution, because it's not sustainable for the drivers to continue.

"This is the first weekend I've truly been struggling with my back, and almost like chest pains from the severity of the bouncing.

"It's just what we have to do to go and do the fastest laps."


Despite the omnipresent physical ordeal, Russell managed to finish an impressive fourth in Sunday's Emilia Romagna Grand Prix, a performance in large part due to the Briton's remarkable opening lap during which he gained six positions!

Russell clocked in nine positions ahead of his Mercedes teammate Lewis Hamilton who was locked all afternoon in a DRS train from which he could not extract himself.

But the 24-year-old backed the seven-time world champion to come back strong once Mercedes unravels the mystery embedded underneath the skin of its W13 Silver Arrow.

"I think it's just how things fall out sometimes in a race weekend," said Russell. "I made a very strong start, I don't know what happened to him at the start.

"I expect him to come back so strong. The way he is pushing and motivating the team is inspiring. I'm not getting comfortable with this position, because I know what he's capable of."

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