Ferrari driver Charles Leclerc does not feel that the “porpoising” the team have been experiencing has been at all detrimental to the performance of his F1-75.
New technical regulations were introduced this season in a move that saw the return of ground effect aerodynamics and, as such, a few largely unprecedented issues have surfaced.
One of those is that of the car hitting the ground as a result of the floor being so much lower than it used to be.
The aerodynamic bits and pieces that generate the downforce have principally been moved to the bottom of the car, all but extinguishing the rake design that helped the cars run so smoothly previously.
Leclerc and team-mate Carlos Sainz have been seen bouncing up and down throughout pre-season testing and in the early part of the season, but the five podiums between them and the two wins for the Monegasque have gone a long way to helping fans ascertain that the performance of the F1-75 is largely unaffected.
“I don’t know why, but I’m not very sensitive to it,” said Leclerc.
“Of course I feel it. But it doesn’t bother me too much in terms of performance, only in Turn 9 maybe a little bit. I wouldn’t have been able to go any faster if I hadn’t had the bouncing.
“On the restart it was a bit difficult because I had it before Turn 1. That’s when you are not so sure on the brakes, but everything went well. But of course it’s not really comfortable to do 58 laps like that.”
Conversely, Mercedes appear to have been massively hindered by the turbulence down the straights, and if they raise the ride height of the car to boost their performance on the straight, they end up suffering in the corners.
George Russell has previously affirmed that the Silver Arrows can solve “99 percent” of their problems if they can expunge the bouncing, and Leclerc concedes that it is something he would like to be rid of.
“It’s definitely something we want to tackle. It doesn’t help us with consistency. Especially once you bounce in a corner, it can be a problem. So that’s something we need to work on,” he added.
Team principal Mattia Binotto, meanwhile, is aware that the Scuderia will need to carry out some further analysis to gain a better understanding of the issue, and suggested that there may be one or two minor things they can experiment with during the hour of practice before Friday qualifying at the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix.
“It’s something we are working on. We know it’s not completely solved yet,” he explained.
“Maybe already at Imola we will try to mitigate it further if we can. But it is something we know is not fully solved yet. It’s not a surprise, it’s something that’s difficult to keep under control.
“There are races or track layouts where we suffer from it more than others, whatever the reasons. So when we came here (Melbourne), we knew since Friday it could have been a problem for this weekend as well.”
If any changes are to be implemented to help mitigate the porpoising, Binotto has already confirmed that nothing major will alter on the car due to the restricted testing time during the sprint weekend in Imola.