Ferrari’s Carlos Sainz has one main criticism of the new technical regulations, and it revolves around the physical impact the new cars are having on the drivers.
Since the start of the season, many of the drivers – Sainz included – have been seen bouncing off the ground in a phenomenon known as “porpoising.”
This is due to the new technical regulations which have seen the re-introduction of ground effect aerodynamics, and the extremely low ride height of the new machines means that there is a lot of abrasion between the floor and the track surface.
This causes the nauseating bouncing, and it became so bad for Mercedes in Imola that the stay on George Russell’s car snapped off on the straight, while both he and team-mate Sir Lewis Hamilton were having to lift off to prevent damage and enable themselves to see and control the car in the corners.
It has necessitated slightly new training regimes, and Russell has been training his neck and back in such a way that they are able to better cope with oscillating loads.
What has not helped Sainz’s cause either is the frequency of his incidents in recent weeks, having found the wall in Imola, before smashing into a concrete barrier in Miami, after which he was irritated that the FIA did not install a TECPRO barrier at Turn 14.
The latter meant that he spent most of the weekend in Florida racing with a neck ache, and he would like to open up a dialogue as to how that can be mitigated.
“We need to think [about] as drivers and F1, how much of a toll a driver should be paying for his back and his health in an F1 career with this kind of car philosophy? I think we need to open the debate more than anything,” he said, quoted by Motorsport.com.
While the Spaniard is pleased with the effect the new regulations have had on the racing spectacle, he does not believe that the violent impact it is having on the drivers’ bodies is sustainable.
“I think the regulations are great. They’re doing exactly what we need it for racing. But do we need to run as stiff for our necks and back as we are having to run lately, with this car mass?” explained Sainz.
“For me it’s more a philosophical question that I put out there, maybe for F1 and everyone to rethink about how much the driver needs to actually pay a price in his career with his health, in order to combat this.”
Sainz managed to finish on the podium in Miami for the third time this season having failed to finish either the Australian or the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix, and would dearly love to take his maiden victory at his home grand prix in Spain this weekend.