Coulthard tells Hamilton “to step aside”

The row over Formula One cars porpoising grows race by race in the paddock. In Montreal team bosses met to discuss the matter which resulted in a huge row between Christian Horner and Toto Wolff. Lewis Hamilton too has been vocal over the health effects the ‘bouncing cars’ have on the drivers and was so distressed from back pain he could hardly extract himself from the Mercedes W13 car.

David Coulthard has waded into the debate and believes there has been a significant amount of drama over the new 2022 ‘ground effect’ car designs stating, “I think we are in race nine of a completely new set of technical regulations.”

“So this has been a phenomenon since pre-season testing, although clearly some teams either did a better job or got luckier in their fundamental design to not be as badly affected.”

Coulthard recalls the days of the last F1 ground effect car designs observing, “I think that anyone that followed F1 from the late 70s/ early 80s, they had ground effect.”

The Scottish ex Williams and McLaren driver explains how the ground effect aerodynamics works. 

“It was a known condition back then where if you know, floor ceiling with the skirts released and the car popped up, it was also a way for them to get around ride height controls where you know, the car has to have a certain ride height, which it passed in the pit lane. It went out on the track back and then it suddenly dropped down to a much lower ride height and then ran outside the spirit of the rules. But if you ran over a curb, your release the floor and then you’ve got this porpoising effect.”



Clearly Red Bull have mastered ground effect better than Mercedes, but Coulthard explains the chief technical officer has previous knowledge of this aerodynamic design

“History has a habit of repeating itself and Formula 1 has the ability because of technical regulations and the way you actually understand those rules. Adrian Newey, someone I always worked with since my Williams days, always used to say he reads the rules to see what they say but more importantly what they don’t say. What they don’t say he designs, hoping for a loophole that gives him an advantage. It makes sense, doesn’t it? If you’re gonna design something that fits in the box, how are you gonna be able to outperform your competitors?”

Newey of course was an apprentice designer during the previous F1 ground effect era but Coulthard believes the current issues suffered by Mercedes has been repeated when other F1 design changes have previously been made.

“Like other years when they brought in grooved tyres and then narrow track cars, there’s a constant evolution, constant technical dealing with updates and those that are struggling more, of course, are gonna be more vocal than those that are getting results.”



Echoing Christian Horner’s view that the regulations are the same for all and some teams just haven’t designed their cars particularly well Coulthard reminisces, “Everyone got the same set of technical regulations handed to them, I’ve been in a situation where I’ve had the advantage of my team doing a better job and I’ve been on the other side when the team didn’t do such a good job and you take the pain whether it’s through your lower back.”

Coulthard is scathing about the complaints of certain drivers who have been most vocal over the current car design. “If any driver feels uncomfortable, if any driver feels he’s doing to himself long term damage, step aside. There’s a whole bunch of guys and girls that would very happily step into your car if you feel uncomfortable. I think we have to keep the perspective that sport doesn’t come with the princess and the pea’s mattresses.”

Of course injury is common in many sports and just because F1 is non-contact doesn’t mead the drivers should be privileged.

“If you’re a boxer, you have to accept someone is gonna punch you in the face,” Coulthard adds. 



“If you’re a footballer, someone is gonna drag their studs down the back of your legs. My girlfriend used to play for the Swedish National team and she has marks on her legs because as a striker she was getting taken out of matches. I think we have to keep in perspective a little be that this is the way certain things are and there’ll be evolution but for the most part, just get on with it.”

Given the F1 drivers are paid fortunes to do what they love and countless others would love to do, Coulthard’s message from a driver who piloted F1 cars in a more dangerous era of – “just get on with it” – brings a level of reality check to the melodrama being played out at times in front of the F1 fans and media.

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20 responses to “Coulthard tells Hamilton “to step aside”

  1. Risk of back or neck injury is however taken seriously in all sports, so i can see why the FIA is taking notice. Rugby even has strict rules to protect players from neck and back injury. Whilst the FIA need to take care not to shift advantage between teams, they are right to take action on this point.

  2. Coulthard who are you to call time on Hamilton your not even in his league maybe if you lot all spoke up in Abu Dhabi about the illegal ending Lewis will be back he’s resilient and nobody is better the only Jim Clark comes near. He’s a 7time world champion treat him with respect

    • Why does the fact that DC was not as succesfull as LH, invalidate his opinion? His personal succes in F1 has nothing to do with that. If that was the case than ALL opinions of the commentators here are worth shit.

  3. Keep your cool old toppie.. enjoy your retirement and leave Hamilton alone..Why didn’t I make your noise end of last season when Lewis was clearly robbed of his well deserved 8th title.

    • Yes Leslie is right. Coulthard is a failed F1 driver causing so much CARNAGE CRASHES taking out half the grid. No one remembers you, no one cares for your views or you’d be wotlrking fo Sky F1.

      • What people appear to conventional forget is LH went for the same spot as MV ended up going off track &was told to allow Vasto catch up with him, and he ignored the instruction keeping a minimum gap of a 2 second lead. If he had allowed MV to catch him then yes he was robbed but as he didn’t, what comes around does.

      • I have no idea, what it is like to be in a car under those conditions, however repetitive loading ( especially load changing at such a frequency) as violent as it appears cannot be good for long term health. It is unfair to criticise Lewis for his statements and to start writing him off. Why do people and journalists do that?
        I motocrossed for many years, and accepted the injury, but there is nothing wrong in calling out something that might cause long term damage to the younger drivers who are too keen on competing to complain.
        Older experience has always complimented youth and exuberance, it makes a good team providing the governing bodies listen!

    • Yes I agree Coulthard was never a winner just the odd Grand Prix, David shut up and give Lewis the respect he deserves. As far as Horner and Newy are concerned I wonder what they would find if the Red Bull car were inspected closely and let’s be fair was Newy responsible for Ayrton Senna’s Death with his wonderful design somewhere along the line

  4. Coolthud, using his old nickname is probably still paid by redbullish and as other people have said not in Hamiltons league, just a washed up twerp second driver in all his career, as for Sir Jackie the knife go home and look after your lovely wife, if Jim Clark was alive he’d tell him too be more nicer in your old age

    • Very well put ! Coultard belonged in Demolition Derby races not F1 and now he’ll do and say anything to get noticed. He moved to Monaco to avoid UK taxes yet praises his home country’s efforts to break up the UK. He is a true opportunist 🤡

  5. End of last year, HAM was in contention only because of the illegal, cheating engine.
    Toto and Ham are leading a song and a dance, posturing to the world about fake back pain.
    He is a 100 % fake champion, faking everything he does. And these poor deluded fans who are his blind
    aficionados refer repeatedly to Abu Dhabi. Justice has been restored. It is done and dusted.
    Remember that and get on with life. If you bristle at imagined insults to your fake hero, you have no right to insult Coultard, one of the stalwarts of the sport. Take your bigotry elsewhere – for example, the chicanery of the Western Press in l’affaire Ukraine.

  6. I 100% agree with DC if the driver’s feel that there car is effecting there Heath either take the car off the track and fix the problem or step aside there is an army of drivers itching to drive the new f1 formula car’s…. Some team’s got it right with the new regulations and others didn’t. F1 teams have the best of the best engineers it’s just a matter of time before the bouncing will be eliminated

  7. Its the losers of F1 that almost make the most noise. Shut up DC, youre not even in the top 20

    • DC is actually normally sickenly pro Hamilton. He’s got this one right. If your car’s unsafe you shouldn’t be out on track, so move over. If Hamilton was with any other team, It’s still clear, Mercedes would still have been the most dominant team for the last 10 years or so and If DC had the same tools as Hamilton has had, with team mates ordered to give up race wins. Who knows where he could have been or almost any driver out there. Tools for the job put Hamilton where he is.

  8. Why is DC’s opinion less valid because he was not as succesfull in F1 as LH?
    If that is the case than the opinion of áll commenters here, is worth literally nothing !

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