Formula 1’s Porpoising Problem


As to how porpoising affects the driver, Alfa Romeo driver, Valtteri Bottas, said, ‘It’s not very comfortable, and visually it gets a bit tricky. It is also challenging to drive as the load on the tyre is unstable, and it affects the change of direction and braking. Long term, it can also affect the car’s reliability with the floor hitting into the ground.’

Lance Stroll, a driver for Aston Martin, added, ‘It’s a challenge to balance the cars going into corners. It’s very uncomfortable, but when you want to make the most of the ground effect car, you have to run the car close to the risk of this phenomenon.’

Williams F1 driver, Alex Albon, said, ‘It’s not comfortable around here [Circuit de Catalunya], but for sure, it would be much more of an issue around a higher speed track like Silverstone or Suzuka, especially going into corners like 130R.’

‘When we are doing 300kph, and the car is jumping 40mm up and down, it’s very disturbing and annoying,’ remarked Scuderia Ferrari driver, Carlos Sainz. ‘Hopefully, the engineers can resolve it because it’s not great on the limit. We are making progress and making parts and adding laps to the data collection.’

Ferrari’s F1-75 heading out of the pits at the Circuit de Catalunya, Barcelona. Credit: Stewart Mitchell


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