The new generation of Formula 1 cars came with their own features and eccentricities: the car uses ground-effect technology and suffers from porpoising – vertical oscillations of the car which are not particularly comfortable for the drivers. While the porpoising exists due to the aero effects, it is worsened because the cars are naturally stiff-sprung.
Teams have fared differently in countering the issue. Red Bull barely haver any porpoising (or bouncing) while Mercedes has quite a lot of it. After a very bumpy Azerbaijan Grand Prix, the FIA released a new technical directive to limit the number of vertical oscillations the car will go through and give the drivers some respite.
Whatever the case may be, Pirelli does not feel that the tires make the porpoising any worse, quite the contrary, they believe that the car would have bounced even more on last year’s 13-inch tires. As reported by GPBlog, this is the view of Pirelli’s head of F1 and car racing, Mario Isola.
Mario Isola on porpoising: “This is an effect that is coming from the cars”
Talking to Autosport about the porpoising issue, Mario Isola said: “I don’t think it is a matter of 18-inches or 13-inches. This is an effect that is coming from the cars.”
He said that due to the bigger sidewall of the 13-inch tires, the porpoising may just have been worse if the regulations had not switched to 18-inch tires: “But obviously, maybe with the higher sidewall of the 13-inches, this bouncing effect could have been even more, because you have the sidewall that is much bigger and working as a sort of suspension, much more than the current one.”
Isola argued that the larger tires probably helped reduce porpoising: “Now the cars are stiffer and the tires are stiffer, and that is something the teams have to address. I don’t think that 18-inches are making these effects worse. I think it’s probably the opposite.”
F1 engineers believe that more options in terms of suspension tools will help them to improve porpoising – such as the return of roll dampers. Other options to better control the bouncing include raising the floor edges, reduction of the floor platform, and eliminating the floor edge wing.