George Russell has reiterated that the “porposing” happening in Formula 1 is not physically “sustainable” for the drivers.
Mercedes introduced a minor aerodynamic upgrade to their car ahead of the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix that they hoped would improve the airflow going through the car, ultimately helping them diminish the floor’s heavy contact with the track surface.
The abolishment of the rake setup was brought about this year by the ground effect aerodynamic under the all-new technical regulations, and it has resulted in the floor of the cars frequently and violently hitting the ground.
Not only does this affect the cars in a straight line, but it unsettles them going into braking zones and high-speed corners due to the oscillating loads.
It became so bad in fact that the stay that was designed to try and keep the floor and the chassis stable broke on Friday, and he and team-mate Sir Lewis Hamilton found themselves lifting off on the straights to mitigate the issue.
The 24-year-old previously asserted that the Brackley squad can solve “99 percent” of their problems by eradicating the bouncing, and he affirms that, other than that, the car does not feel too bad to drive.
“When the car and tyres are in the right window the car, except for the bouncing, feels really good to drive but the bouncing really takes your breath away. It’s the most extreme I’ve ever felt it,” Russell explained.
“I really hope we find a solution and I hope every team who’s struggling with the bouncing finds a solution because it’s not sustainable for the drivers to continue with this level.”
Russell divulged ahead of the weekend that he had been doing some work on his back in training to deal with the impact as the car hits the track, and it caused all sorts of aches and pains in Imola last weekend.
“This is the first weekend where I’ve been truly struggling with my back and like chest pains from the severity of the bouncing. But it’s just what we have to do get the fastest lap times out of the car,” he added.
Russell ended the race P4 while Hamilton, who endured a horrible weekend, finished in 13th position.
The young Briton spent three seasons racing towards the back of the pack with Williams before his arrival at Mercedes this year, and that has perhaps gone some way towards helping him deal with the adversity the Mercedes tam are going through right now.
“It’s just been a really difficult position for us as a team and perhaps with my struggles at Williams in driving very difficult cars that’s helped in some small regard,” he said.
As such, he expects Hamilton will soon acclimatise to what will have been somewhat of a culture shock for the seven-time champion.
“I expect him (Hamilton) to come back so strong and the way he’s pushing and motivating the team is inspiring. I’m not getting comfortable with this position because I know what he’s capable of,” stated Russell.
Mercedes were surpassed in the Constructors’ Standings by Red Bull after the Milton Keynes team took a dominant one-two finish as Max Verstappen led home Sergio Perez at Imola.