Mercedes arrived at the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix weekend with small a aerodynamic upgrade in a bid to solve their “porpoising” problems, but they have still been suffering from the incessant bouncing.
Such has been the severity of the impact with the floor that George Russell and Sir Lewis Hamilton have been lifting off the throttle to avoid excess abrasion with the track surface.
And Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff revealed after qualifying on Friday that the issue had broken the stay on Russell’s car that is designed to keep the floor steady.
Both Britons were eliminated from Q2 in Imola while, Ferrari, whose bouncing seems similarly aggressive to their counterparts, have simply been able to drive through it and consistently find themselves at the top of the timesheets.
So why is that? You would suspect there would be few better to ask about the disparity than the man at the helm of Ferrari, Mattia Binotto, but he is just as mystified as the rest of us.
“I don’t know why the others are not as quick as we are with porpoising. But it’s true that we are still suffering with it,” he said, as quoted by RacingNews365.com.
“We put some actions on the car to try to mitigate it, but it’s not yet addressed and solved.
“But it’s always a compromise between trying to solve it and giving up some performance, while maybe in the meantime you have to have some porpoising to get the best out of your car.”
While Mercedes’ upgrades have evidently not made a substantial difference this weekend, they are planning more upgrades that might as we dive deeper into the European season, and the Scuderia are also working hard to eradicate it.
“We are certainly trying to develop the car in order to address it, definitely, because it’s not the best situation, certainly for a driver, to drive and to somehow attack corners without getting there, and braking with such porpoising,” he explained.
Ultimately, the Italian suggests that Mercedes’ pace deficit could simply be owed to something other than “porpoising.”
“But why the others are suffering more than us? I don’t know. Is it true or not? I don’t know. Is that down to the porpoising or not? I don’t know,” he added, suggesting that Russell’s claim that solving porpoising would fix “99 percent of their issues” might not be correct.
Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz finished the sprint race on Saturday second and fourth respectively for Ferrari, while neither Russell or Hamilton managed to break into the top 10.