Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, Baku City Circuit, 2022

Mercedes’ porpoising problems “the same as in the last race” – Hamilton

2022 Azerbaijan Grand Prix

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Lewis Hamilton admitted practice for the Azerbaijan Grand Prix left him feeling “sore” after Mercedes’s porpoising problem returned on the long straights of Baku.

He said he felt “a bit sore” after ending practice in 12th place. “We’re hitting some serious speeds at the end here and it’s bouncing a lot,” he explained.

Hamilton said the team are in a similar position to the previous round in Monaco, where he finished eighth. “It’s pretty much the same as in the last race, really,” he said. “Mostly bouncing.”

He and team mate George Russell ran different set-ups on their cars in the second session. Russell ended up three-tenths of a second quicker than his team mate, 1.3 seconds off the pace.

“We tried something experimental on my car and it didn’t feel that great to be honest,” Hamilton explained. “But at least we tried it and got data on it and now we’ll go through it and hopefully for tomorrow we’ll probably revert back to what we changed.”

“I just can’t really tell you where 1.6 seconds or 1.3 seconds, whatever, is,” he added. “That’s a long way away. A lot of it’s on straights.”

Russell admitted the team “weren’t as competitive as we would have liked” after a “tricky day” of running. The team has often found it difficult to gets its tyres into the optimum operating window on the first lap this year.

Pierre Gasly, AlphaTauri, Baku City Circuit, 2022
Gallery: 2022 Azerbaijan Grand Prix practice in pictures
“It’s again a tricky track to get the tyres in the right window,” he said. “You see a number of drivers, their fastest laps are coming right at the end of a run, whereas Ferrari and Red Bull seem to be able to turn it on.

“But at the moment they just have inherently a faster car than us and we’re doing everything we can to try and catch up.”

However Russell believes even if Mercedes are able to get the most out of their tyres “we’re definitely not going to fully close that gap.”

“They’re just too far ahead,” he said. “So that’s really 50% of our issue. The rest is just the lack of performance we have at the moment.”

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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19 comments on “Mercedes’ porpoising problems “the same as in the last race” – Hamilton”

  1. So was Toto lying when he said they’d sorted the porpoising then?

    1. No – their solution in Spain was to run to run the car as low and stiff as possible. That’ll presumably work on most tracks this year and they should get their Spain pace back but on bumpy street circuits, they’re screwed. They either have porpoising or they’re too low/stiff to deal with the bumps.

      1. This yes, also looks dangerous.

  2. Just in case you missed it. In an interview with sky commentator Naomi Schiff, Hamilton was asked about his 2nd practice times. Hamilton let slip Mercedes used the 2nd practice to test parts on ‘his’ car.

    This confirms what i’ve stated in this group:
    A/ practices are being used to test theories and gather data
    B/ that these test are exclusive to Hamilton’s car
    C/ as a consequence the setup will differ between the two team mates.

    Hamilton went on to say its likely they’ll revert the setup back for the next data, and said words
    to the effect whilst the tests didn’t work it was useful for the data.

    Naomi Schiff parting words were, “I’ll let you get back to engineer”. A joke which made it clear
    she at least recognised his new role within the team.

    That said, im sure we’ll have the usual detractors making something out of russells better times, and completely missing the bigger picture.

    Good on you Hamilton.

    1. ** engineering

      1. I doubt Lewis would happily test parts and let George beat him over a season.

        1. Hamilton is thinking of the long term. He knows the car isn’t going to fix itself without his commitment. For Mercedes to regain their place at the front it will take sacrefices. Hamilton’s competition with the newest member of that team is the least of his worries, however it may seem.

          https://www.express.co.uk/sport/f1-autosport/1615563/Lewis-Hamilton-sacrifice-theory-George-Russell-Mercedes-F1-news

    2. Hamilton fans go to the greatest lengths to explain why George is just faster…

    3. Otherwise known as “Hamilton is getting the new parts over Russell…” If they’d worked and he was faster than George, he’d have the advantage. As it is, they didn’t work so they’re reverting to the existing parts.

      As the most experienced guy in the team, it makes sense he gets to evaluate the new parts – he’s helped them develop the car before to a dominant level so why have Russell do it?

    4. Already said my piece on Mercedes present strategy. Times between drivers aren’t relevant fixing the car is the top priority.

    5. Ham is actually working with his engineering team aggressively to find a way to close the gap upfront quicker.
      Time is not on his side for an 8th.
      Unfortunately most of the trials become errors.
      GR is adopting a measured approach.

  3. It’s awful to even watch the onboards of porpoising cars. (not only Mercedes) It very much looks like a health hazard and someting should be done with this issue by the FIA. Looking at drivers heads moving is not appealing at all. I am currently in the state of “I would not drive these cars even if was offered to”.

    They should set up some kind of vertical measurement. For example maximum cummulated vertical head movement, and maximum difference of highest and lowest point during a normal lap. (by normal lap I mean no driver error, no vibration due to tyres) In-season technical rule changes are commonplace and this is for the health of drivers.

    1. Scarbs had a video showing it was over 1g in vertical acceleration. And consider the frequency too. I can’t imagine the beating your body takes even after one lap of that.

    2. Spot on, @f1mre.

      All the silly bouncing is a great testament to Brawn/Liberty’s determination, in cooperation with the FIA, to bring the sport into disrepute.

      My non-F1-fans friends asked me recently why the pinnacle of motorsport appears to be running on square tyres. I tried to explain the technical issues, but couldn’t understand the FIA’s illogical embrace of unintended consequences as a design goal.

    3. Experts need to confirm there’s no lasting damage to spine or cns

  4. Teams need to sort this out quickly. Bouncing onboards look already worrying and even already gives me anxiety.

    1. Look how long it took to report concussion as a health hazard in certain sports

  5. Have to agree f1 teams fia f1 need to sort porpoising out. Its the pinnacle of motor bouncing.

  6. Mark in Florida
    11th June 2022, 14:34

    Wow, I really thought that Mercs would be on top of this by now. They’re not my team but I would still love to see a three way fight at the front with each team taking points from each other. This zero sidepod design may be an engineering white elephant, theoretically looks great with no way to make a practical application. Lewis just seems kind of beat down to me. He’s won everything and the car is not worth the extra effort. Vettel did the same thing after he won his last title as well. His performance dropped down the well and Ricciardo showed up and Vettel never recovered his form. I think Lewis can do it he just has to find some faith in the car.

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