Rival team fires warning about Lewis Hamilton’s worrying claim

A rival team has warned that Lewis Hamilton's comments shouldn't be blindly believed.

Lewis Hamilton’s concerns over the reemergence of ‘porpoising’ on the F1 grid have been somewhat dismissed by Alpine’s data engineer, Ramon Drost, who suggests the British driver’s remarks should be “taken with a pinch of salt.”

Hamilton finished fourth in the Belgian Grand Prix last week, almost a minute behind the winner, Max Verstappen.

During the race, he voiced Mercedes’ primary worries when he mentioned ‘porpoising’ – an issue that had troubled them in the 2022 season but seemed to be managed this year.

However, Hamilton felt it had returned as he navigated the Spa-Francorchamps circuit, raising alarm bells at Mercedes.

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“We experienced considerable bouncing this weekend, reminiscent of last year’s conditions,” he told Sky F1.

When further queried about the return of this bouncing in his W14, Hamilton acknowledged it as a concern, but emphasised the need to analyse the data.

His teammate, George Russell, echoed Hamilton’s experiences, remarking on a “massive amount of bouncing” and indicating that it was not just Mercedes facing this issue.

He lamented: “It’s a bit of a shame that the majority of teams at the pinnacle of motorsport are still struggling with bouncing. I hope a solution can be found for the future.”

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However, Drost has advised a degree of scepticism concerning Lewis Hamilton’s complaints in the wake of the 2023 Belgian GP.

The Alpine data analyst asserts that the bouncing encountered by Mercedes, and possibly other teams at Spa, could be attributed to the circuit’s unevenness rather than the cars themselves.

“‘Porpoising’ isn’t fully back,” the French engineer told Motorsport.com. “Obviously, these aren’t road cars, so they will always bounce a bit. It’s not particularly comfortable to drive a car like that, and I believe we need to take this into account.”

He suggested that Hamilton may have perceived something different, possibly a touch more bottoming from Eau Rouge, leading to his comment.

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“But in my view, ‘porpoising’ is largely under control with most teams. It’s also measured by supplementary sensors installed on the cars,” Drost explained.

Before the championship this year, the FIA had implemented new regulations to address ‘porpoising’, which included raising the floor edges and diffuser throat height, as well as installing extra sensors on the cars to monitor it.

Any team exceeding the FIA’s oscillation metrics is then required to raise the car’s ride height.