Mercedes’ George Russell has revealed that the team found no benefit from running an extra floor stay during the Canadian Grand Prix weekend, which is why they did not use it for the race.
The FIA brought in a new directive for the Canadian Grand Prix weekend in the form of a metric that will be used to measure the oscillating movements of the car amid the “porpoising” and bouncing phenomenon.
It came after health concerns surrounding the impact it was having on the drivers’ backs and necks, and the measurements will be used to determine a maximum permitted level of bouncing on the cars.
Having looked horrible on Friday, Mercedes removed the extra stay and raised the ride height of the W13, and this appeared to make a difference despite the perceivable lack of performance in the corners as a result of doing so, and Russell finished fourth behind team-mate Sir Lewis Hamilton having started eighth.
Kevin Magnussen was sent out of the points after more contact with Hamilton, while Mick Schumacher retired through a reliability issue, and a Virtual Safety Car enabled him to clear Fernando Alonso for P4.
Collectively, there was some much needed luck for the Silver Arrows on Sunday, and their pace was a welcome surprise relative to Red Bull and Ferrari.
“I think I had total confidence we’d have been able to carve our way past the Haas and the Alpines,” Russell told Sky Sports.
“We were certainly concerned that [Charles] Leclerc and Checo [Sergio Perez] would be able to come through, and [we were] fortunate to keep them behind us.
“And, ultimately our race pace was certainly closer to Ferrari and Red Bull than we’ve seen all season but that performance just isn’t there yet.”
Russell conceded that he might have gone slightly different on strategy, but it likely would not have boosted him above P4.
“Everything’s easier in hindsight,” explained the 24-year-old.
“[I] probably would have liked to have pitted under the first VSC but at the end of the day I don’t think it would have changed my finishing result.
“The pace was really strong in the first stint, the second stint pretty strong, in the final stint after the restart, I don’t know why, I just couldn’t get the tyres working.
“So, that was a bit of a shame to drop back slightly and not be in the fight but nevertheless, P4, good points for the team, great to be back on the podium for Mercedes.”
After the physical difficulties caused for Russell and Hamilton in Baku last weekend, some bouncing still remained for Russell to contend with during the race.
“It was bumpy, it was definitely bumpy out there,” he added.
“We weren’t ‘porpoising,’ we’re just bouncing around a lot down the straight, just hitting the ground, so it’ll be a good sleep again tonight for sure.”
There are many different aspects that come together to create the bouncing problem, and these vary from track to track, so it is very difficult to ascertain what will work at which circuits, and what will not.
“I think there’s so many different factors,” stated Russell.
“The wind plays a big factor, the bumpiness of the circuit.
“The revisions the FIA brought this weekend with the extra floor stay did nothing hence why we didn’t race it.
“Just the angle of it didn’t allow the team to hold the floor up but this global issue of these 2022 cars is far from over.”
With Hamilton one position on front of him, Mercedes walked away from a race with 27 points for the fourth time this year.