The porpoise is the big topic of discussion in the Montreal paddock this weekend. Concerns concern not only the new FIA regulations (especially by team directors), but also and perhaps fundamentally the health of the drivers.
Do drivers not run the risk of damaging their spine in the medium term by constantly bouncing from Grand Prix to Grand Prix (see our article)?
It is because these risks are real that the FIA has acted.
However, pilots opposed to this FIA intervention, such as Max Verstappen, always tend to put the problem in perspective. We hear the Dutch speaking in the paddock of Montreal.
“Yes, I mean there are a lot of sports where you damage your body in general. I mean, once you finish your career, you won’t be like when you were 20 years old. Is it like that. I mean football players have knee problems, all kinds of injuries, or when you’re a motocross rider or a Moto GP rider, how many bones have been broken in your body … You can always judge, “yes, “It’s safe. No, but we’re willing to take risks. It’s our sport. That’s what I like to do.”
“It’s safe. It’s not friendly and I don’t think it’s right, but some teams are able to handle these things much better than others. So it’s possible to get rid of them. I don’t think we should dramatize what’s going on. “We have a lot of smart people in this sport who can get rid of these things and I’m sure all cars bounce a little too much.”
We believe that Max Verstappen denounces above all the injustice done to Red Bull, according to him, by the regulations of the FIA …
“Well, now you can clearly see that there are a few teams that don’t really have this serious problem. But it’s something we have to look at. It’s just how the car is designed, because you have to drive it so low for strength. “It’s all about the design of the car. So if you want to get rid of it, you have to change the whole philosophy of the car.”
Hamilton, on the other hand, prioritizes health and suffers many bruises after each Grand Prix
Lewis Hamilton shows another point of view, seeming to prioritize health over all other considerations, even if regulation runs the risk of harming Mercedes.
“Leaving aside the technical part, we definitely can’t … I can’t stress enough how important health is to us. We have an amazing sport, but safety has to be paramount, it has to be the most important thing. “I’ve talked to a specialist, but I’m definitely feeling a little more … small this week. And my records are definitely not in the best shape right now.”
“It’s not good for longevity. And there are things we can do to make it better for all the drivers here. We don’t need to have long-term injuries. So yes, we need to work very closely with the FIA and don’t take it lightly, which I don’t think they will, and keep doing it. “
The Mercedes driver has detailed the scope of the problem, to say how this year he has suffered more from the Grand Prix than last year.
“These days there are a lot more bruises on the body after the races. So you need almost the whole week to recover, and you have to do a lot more. And I don’t think it has anything to do with age, it’s just “Usually, the bruises can be quite severe. When you take 10G at once, it happened to me in the last run. It’s also a very, very heavy load on the lower and upper neck.”
Alonso, Vettel and Ricciardo support the FIA
Lewis Hamilton’s point of view finally seems closer to that of Fernando Alonso, although Alpine suffers less from this porpoise.
“As drivers, we wanted to ask the FIA for help, because it’s obvious that sometimes it’s hard for us to go to our teams and tell them to lose performance, just because we have pain or something. So you know, if they can do it for us, it’s better, easier. »
In support of the FIA, also came Sebastian Vettel: the director of the GPDA distrustful of the consequences in the medium term.
“Yeah Al that sounds pretty crap to me, Looks like BT aint for me either. Looks like BT aint for me either. short-term or potentially long-term injuries, and suffering for the rest of our lives for preventable things. ”
“Not all extreme sports are necessarily healthy to some extent, but looking to the future, you can’t go on like this for another four or five years. Therefore, it is good for the FIA to start addressing the issue and putting security before performance. »
Daniel Ricciardo offers you a method to judge the problem: is it a necessary or dispensable risk?
“Yes, it’s probably one of those where: is it a necessary or dispensable risk? That’s what we have to answer, of course. We take a lot of risks getting in the cars every weekend and that’s part of what we like about this sport. But for that, it’s not a matter of who’s the bravest, it’s a risk I guess is out of our control. »
“We’re not really prepared for those impacts. We’re a little crowded in the cockpit, so we’re probably a little vulnerable to our stance.”
Scanners for Carlos Sainz
The concern is also present and finally Carlos Sainz, who reveals that he already has several scanners to control his spine …
“Yeah Al that sounds pretty crap to me, Looks like BT aint for me either, Looks like BT aint for me either. extra sessions, mobility sessions, because obviously that makes you more tense and less flexible, you have less mobility and you try to do more to compensate. ”
“But everyone listens to us and I’m sure everyone will act in the future. »