Formula 1 | Porpoising: “A matter of time before a major accident”

A hot topic in the winter, the porpoise has not been in the F1 headlines for the past few weeks. The teams had managed to contain it, and the pilots seemed to get used to it. George Russell even told us in an interview on the sidelines of the Azerbaijani general practitioner that he had less pain related to this phenomenon.

But the first two days of the Azerbaijan Grand Prix have raised significant fears. The cars pushed hard in a straight line, and the drivers lamented both the physical effect and the loss of control. President of the Drivers Association (GPDA), Russell also has a strong voice on this issue, and fears a major accident is coming.

“It’s only a matter of time before a major accident happens, many of us can barely keep the car straight above these blows.” said Russell. “We take the last bends at 320 km / h, we rub against the ground, you can see on the asphalt how close the cars are to the ground.

“Formula 2 is in the same position, they have a similar philosophy. But with the technologies we have, it doesn’t make sense, it seems unnecessary to run an F1 car a few millimeters off the ground, and that’s the recipe for disaster. “.

Russell clearly questions the long-term viability of these cars, with teams struggling to fix the problem: “I don’t know what the future holds, but I don’t think we can stand it for three years, or for as long as this regulation lasts.”

His teammate Lewis Hamilton also fears that one day he could cause a serious accident. The seven-time world champion admits it’s hard “Keep this thing away from the wall at quick corners. It can become a security issue.”

“Today it’s very deep in the corners where you go at 300 km / h, and you can’t do much to avoid it. We won’t be able to have it for four years with this car, so I think they need to work on it for the future “All the drivers have talked about it.”

Alpine F1 drivers agree with Mercedes drivers

Russell and Hamilton aren’t the only ones complaining about porpoise and discomfort in these cars. Fernando Alonso does not value the lack of stability and smoothness of the cars, and attributes the intensity of the phenomenon to the Azeri circuit.

“It’s the worst I’ve driven in 20 years. I think it’s a set with this circuit, which was already very rough on the straight with cars, and this year has been exaggerated.” explained the Spaniard. “In Jeddah it went well, in Australia no one complained. “

Alonso is worried that the drivers will have to roll for many years in these conditions: “It will be difficult for the teams [de changer cela]. But I hope they do something for the young pilots. For me, it will be a few years. “

Esteban Ocon, Alpine’s teammate in Alpine F1, agrees with the general opinion. The Frenchman is aware that his A522 “not the worst” single-seater on the grill, but says so “It’s still a disaster to drive on a rough track.”

“It’s not even that bumpy, when you go to Montreal or Singapore it will hurt you. We should try to make the cars a little more fun to drive, because here we have to avoid bumps and you can see the car pulling on one side., and all this on the straight, so it’s on the edge. “

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