Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc has compared the porpoising many teams experienced during testing in Barcelona to “turbulence” in an aircraft, while team-mate Carlos Sainz believes that many in the paddock “underestimated” the issues the new technical regulations might present.
Leclerc topped the timesheets on day two of testing in Spain last week, putting 78 laps on the board.
However, the day’s running was not as smooth as it would appear, and a slow-motion shot shoed the Monegasque’s head wobbling as the car bounced off the ground down the straight; the 24-year-old found it a rather nauseating experience.
“It feels like turbulence in an airplane going up and down the whole straight,” he said, quoted by Motorsport.com.
“I can’t say it feels good. It makes you a bit sick, but it is okay.”
His team-mate Carlos Sainz added that the porpoising issue can be more aggravated depending on setup, and it is an aspect of the car that the team will have to burnish.
“It depends on the set-up you drive and whether you use DRS or not,” he explained.
“So it’s a whole new world and understanding that we’re getting into because it looks like that could be a theme for this year.
“I think most of us at least underestimated the problem.”
Team principal Mattia Binotto maintains that the Scuderia are dealing with the issue, and have already managed to lessen the porpoising effect the new technical regulations seem to be having on the cars.
“On the bouncing, I think it was an issue but it’s not any more,” he told reporters.
Mercedes driver George Russell sees the popoising as a “safety issue.”
“It’s not very pleasant. From what I’ve seen from other teams, that would be a safety issue and it has to be solved one way or another,” he said.
However, he has faith that his team of engineers and mechanics can work their way around it.
“There are a lot of intelligent people in this field and I’m sure that sooner or later everyone will get the problem under control,” added the 24-year-old.
The teams will likely be making alterations to the cars before they head to Bahrain for the second and final test to evaluate whether they have solved the turbulence problem.