Mercedes’ struggles with porpoising since the start of the season are well known. Now, it seems they have finally found the solution.
The porpoising was especially bad for George Russell at the race weekend in Imola, where he suffered from back and chest pain. It was so bad that they broke a floor stay on Russell’s car from it. The porpoising limited the ability of the team to run the car lower, which could have made for a significant upgrade in pace.
This changed in Miami, where it seemed that the porpoising had softened for the most part, and George Russell had an amazing weekend for himself. Starting 12th, he finished 5th. Of course, there was at least some fortune involved, as a collision on lap 41 from Pierre Gasly and Lando Norris allowed him to pit behind the virtual safety car, something he had earlier even mentioned doing. Mercedes took a decent chunk of points on it, even if they could not compete with the Ferraris and Red Bulls in front.
In FP1 of the ongoing race weekend in Spain, the porpoising had disappeared almost entirely and the running looked fairly smooth. Russell finished 4th, seven and a half-tenths behind the chart-topping Charles Leclerc. Lewis Hamilton finished in 6th, around a second from the top. However, this was due in part to a DRS problem on Hamilton’s car. This ‘strong’ performance and the absence of the bouncing issues prompted generally positive yet varied reactions from fans of the German team.
Some fans were absolutely delighted, as can be seen from the above tweet. Others were just happy that the porpoising seemed to have vanished.
A small recap
The first practice session of the weekend is over, and the second is due to come in just a few moments’ time. 8 of the teams have brought upgrades to the fore, including Red Bull, Ferrari, and Mercedes.
Mercedes have brought in four upgrades, including a new front wing and floor edge, and body. Ferrari have brought in a rear wing, floor body, and rear corner, while Red Bull have also opted to wing a new front wing and a floor body. Aston Martin have brought in ‘half a new car’, and has led some to call it a ‘Green Red Bull’.
Charles Leclerc finished the first session on top, with hometown hero Carlos Sainz in close proximity, just a few thousandths. They were joined at 3rd by Max Verstappen and followed up by George Russell, Fernando Alonso, and Lewis Hamilton. Juri Vips and Nyck de Vries replaced Sergio Perez and Alexander Albon for the session, respectively and de Vries raised eyebrows by finishing almost a tenth above Latifi.