Aston Martin fire porpoising warning for 2023

Porpoising was a major issue in 2022 that took many teams, such as Mercedes, by surprise.

Porpoising is not something that Formula 1 teams such as Mercedes would ever like to talk about again, after spending so much time trying to get rid of it last year.

The nature of the major regulation changes meant that the aerodynamics of the F1 cars changed, something that was slightly overlooked by both the teams and the FIA coming into last season.

The violent bounced caused by these aerodynamics caused many drivers severe pain, meaning that performance-based upgrades had to be put on hold while the porpoising issue was solved, baffling many engineers in the paddock.

Unfortunately for the teams, Aston Martin deputy technical director Eric Blandin believes that the porpoising problems are not a thing of the past just yet, tipping the bouncing to continue next season.

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“It won’t disappear completely. It’s something that’s inherent within this set of regulations,” he told the Aston Martin official website.

“You’ve got big tunnels channelling air underneath a car that is running very close to the ground and effectively has a skirt created by the floor edge that’s sealing the air in – this combination is what makes the car susceptible to porpoising.

“Every F1 car experiences some degree of oscillation, but with the current regulations, due to the aerodynamic load and the variation in that aerodynamic load, this oscillation is more pronounced.

“It’s not simply a case of running the car in the wind tunnel to see whether it will porpoise: it doesn’t work like that because it’s a dynamic problem – the aerodynamic loads are constantly changing.”

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There was hot debate over whether the FIA should have tweaked the regulations midway through last season, as some teams such as Red Bull had found a much better solution to the bouncing than some of the other teams.

Mercedes were forced to sacrifice half a seasons’ worth of development to solve the issue after Toto Wolff admitted that his team completely got the physics wrong surrounding the new regulations.

Once the teams that struggled with porpoising such as Aston Martin and Mercedes were able to focus on performance upgrades, their results improved massively, giving both teams reason to enter the 2023 season with high hopes.