Mercedes’ George Russell is pleased that the FIA took swift action on the “porpoising” and bouncing issues that have been affecting them and other teams on the grid this season.
Russell and team-mate Sir Lewis Hamilton spent the first five races of the year struggling with the “porpoising” phenomenon, which is caused by aerodynamic deficiencies under the new technical regulations.
They appeared to solve this in Barcelona, but they then felt that they could run the cars much lower, leading to even heavier contact with the track surface.
A solution to this is to raise the ride height, but this would lose them an abundance of grip and downforce in the corners, so no one wants to do that from a performance perspective.
From a safety standpoint, the FIA have introduced a new directive that, should any teams be encountering excessive oscillating movement during the third and final practice session this weekend in Canada, they will not be allowed to partake in the remainder of the weekend.
The governing body will measure the movements of the cars on Friday, which will establish the metric for FP3.
Russell insists that Mercedes are not trying to even things up by forcing everyone to raise their ride height, and that driver welfare is the priority.
“I think this is something that everybody thinks Mercedes were sort of pushing for,” he told Sky Sports.
“But from a pure performance side of things, we don’t really want change because if there’s change, you never know if it’s going to go in our favour or against you.
“I think it’s something that we as drivers have spoken about globally because we want change moving forward because what we went through last weekend just wasn’t sustainable.
“It doesn’t matter what boat you’re in, you’re either ‘porpoising’ and you’re hitting the ground, or you have no ‘porpoising’ so you’re running the car very close to the ground and you’re bottoming.
“So, either way you look at it, it’s not great.
“I think it’s promising to see that they’ve made action on this straight away and it’s not taken them weeks and months and political decisions to change something like this.
“And when it comes to safety, things need to be resolved ASAP so not surprised to see it come in so quick but I think it’s good for everyone.”
Hamilton struggled to get out of his car after finished fourth in Baku last weekend, and Russell himself was feeling the affects of the brutal bouncing after he got his third podium of the year in P3.
“A bit sore,” he conceded.
“I had a nice, chilled Sunday evening, and a nice bath to recover a little but it so yeah it wasn’t great.”
Red Bull team principal Christian Horner insinuated after the Azerbaijan Grand Prix that Mercedes have told Hamilton and Russell to “b****” about the bouncing as much as they can to force the FIA into changing the rules in their favour.