MERCEDES Formula One driver George Russell has backed the FIA’s decision to require teams to make adjustments to “reduce” or “eliminate” porpoising.
Russell has backed the FIA’s decision to require teams to ‘make the necessary adjustments to reduce or to eliminate’ porpoisingCredit: Rex
Hamilton had to be helped out of his car after he picked up a back injuryCredit: Getty
A number of other drivers on the grid have also complained about porpoising, raising concerns over driver safety.
Russell told Sky Sports: “I think everyone thinks this is something Mercedes is pushing for, but from a pure performance side of things, we don’t really want change.
“Because if there’s change you never know if it’s going to go for you or against you.
“We, as drivers, have spoken about this, that we want change moving forward because what we went through last weekend wasn’t sustainable.
“It doesn’t matter what boat you’re in.
“You’re either porpoising and you’re hitting the ground or you have no porpoising so you’re running the car very close to the ground and you’re bottoming. Either way you look at it, it’s not great.
“I think it’s promising to see that they’ve taken action on this straight away. It’s not taken them months and weeks and political decisions to change something like that.
“When it comes to safety, things need to be resolved ASAP. I think it’s good for everyone.”
Russell‘s comments come after the FIA took the decision to require teams to “make the necessary adjustments to reduce or to eliminate” porpoising.
A statement read: “The FIA, as the governing body of the sport, has decided that, in the interests of safety, it is necessary to intervene to require that the teams make the necessary adjustments to reduce or to eliminate this phenomenon [of porpoising].
“The FIA has decided to intervene following consultation with its doctors in the interests of safety of the drivers.
“In a sport where the competitors are routinely driving at speeds in excess of 300km/h (186 mph), it is considered that all of a driver’s concentration needs to be focused on that task and that excessive fatigue or pain experienced by a driver could have significant consequences should it result in a loss of concentration.
“In addition, the FIA has concerns in relation to the immediate physical impact on the health of the drivers, a number of whom have reported back pain following recent events.”
Red Bull are one-two in the drivers standings with current F1 champion Max Verstappen leading, followed by team-mate Sergio Perez.
They’re also leading the constructor standings.
Red Bull boss Christian Horner says he would tell his drivers to “bitch as much as they could” if they had an issue similar to the one which hurt Hamilton’s back.
Horner told media after the race that publicly highlighting things like porpoising health issues in F1 is just “part of the game”.
He says highlighting of these types of issues are typical of the gamesmanship which comes with F1.
When asked how he would approach a porpoising issue for his drivers at Red Bull, he said: “I’d tell them to bitch as much as they could over the radio and make as big of an issue out of it as they possibly could.
“It’s part of the game.”
When asked whether he believed teams that were encouraging the complaints, he added: “Of course it is.”
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