The Mercedes F1 personnel on display at the car launch last week on the whole appeared to be a content group of folk. Gone was the troublesome W13 and the new shiny W14 was on show.
The question everyone wanted answering was eventually put to the team’s technical director Mike Elliot, “would the new car suffer like its predecessor with porpoising?”
Mercedes Tech Director unsure if bouncing solved
The porpoising or bouncing phenomena plagued Mercedes for more than half the season preventing them from the regular in season development and car optimisation.
Such was the force on the drivers from the bouncing car that Lewis Hamilton appeared exhausted at the end of the race in Azerbaijan and almost unable to extricate himself from the car.
In answer to the question about the new car design bouncing, “Well we have to hope, not,” replied Elliot
“I think if you look at the learning we took from last year, you look at the tools you put together. Hopefully, we’ve got all the metrics in place to understand what we need to do the car so that it doesn’t bounce but fingers crossed.”
Video emerges from Mercedes shakedown
A bobbing head was the prime indication of a car that was porpoising and a video clip from the Mercedes shakedown at Silverstone appeared showing Lewis Hamilton experiencing the dreaded bouncing.
Maybe he’s nodding about how good it is 🤷🏽♂️ https://t.co/aomvlrk7Wb
— Karun Chandhok (@karunchandhok) February 17, 2023
Karun Chandhok jokes Hamilton nodding approval
Sky F1 commentator Karen Chandhok joked, “maybe he’s nodding about how good it is,” underneath the clip of Hamilton’s bouncing head as he took the W14 for a run in the wet at Silverstone.
Nurburgring Endurance Champion, Bradley Philpot, who posted the clip was challenged by others suggesting it was the result of a bump in the track.
Philpot replied: “Still does look to me like standard, albeit small, porpoising. It’s definitely not just one bump. It begins as the speed ramps up and continues for the remainder of the straight. And in the wet, with raised tide heights, you would expect to see less porpoising anyway.”
Video clip challenged by others
Other clips were posted showing Hamilton’s head still as he drove down the Wellington straight yet Philpot contends, “If this IS porpoising, it wouldn’t be happening all the time – only at high speed. Especially in the wet, most of the time they’d be going too slow to see it.”
George Russell refused to confirm that Mercedes had fixed their porpoising problems leading to speculation this was in fact an admission the phenomena is present in the new Mercedes W14 car.
TJ13 also reported yesterday Mercedes have discovered a design problem associated with the suspension that is causing the engineers in Brackley a headache.
A modified stronger version has been rushed into production for the upcoming test in Bahrain, but it has been manufactured from a much heavier compound which impact on the car’s performance and affect the interaction with the tyres.
Slightly worrying news for them, but hopefully, everything will be fixed in time for the season-opener or relatively early into the season.
Despite being a 1second loop of some bumping (which F1 cars and drivers are routinely subjected to), that video has been roundly proven to be a bunch of tosh
Funny this hitch, my new Mercedes 1300 B200 doesn’t bounce or porpoise at all. If you cover the insurance you can use it.