Valtteri Bottas: Alfa Romeo driver says 'porpoising' is 'getting quite serious'

By Matt WarwickBBC Sport
Valtteri Bottas
Valtteri Bottas drove alongside Lewis Hamilton for five years at Mercedes

Alfa Romeo driver Valtteri Bottas has warned 'porpoising' in Formula 1 is "getting quite serious" and believes it could cause injuries to drivers.

New cars designed for 2022 bounce as they travel at speed down straights.

Lewis Hamilton said after Sunday's Azerbaijan Grand Prix he was "worried" about the Canadian Grand Prix because of back pain from his car bouncing, but confirmed on Monday he would race.

"I've seen how sore some of the drivers are after the race," said Bottas.

"Some of the certain speeds and corners… the cars are less under control because of it.

"It is definitely a topic and it's getting quite serious."

Hamilton's team-mate George Russell - who replaced Bottas at Mercedes this season - said in the build-up to the race in Azerbaijan that safety was becoming a concern over the bouncing of the cars.

Bottas told BBC Sport: "[I'm] not sure how sustainable that is in the future and we start to actually see injuries of drivers just by driving the cars - that's not how it should be.

"We, as drivers, spoke with FIA at the last race and made the point pretty clear that we would like to seek for any options in the future how we can improve it."

'Porpoising' is caused by the floor of the car being sucked so close to the ground at speed that downforce is temporarily lost until the car's ride height increases, before pulling it back down again.

The 'ground-effect' design philosophy was re-introduced to promote closer racing for the new season, about 40 years after it existed in the sport.

All teams have experience some form of bouncing, but none more so than Mercedes, who have fallen from pacesetters last season to the upper end of the midfield.

"I don't think I've ever felt it in the worst way than some teams or drivers are experiencing it," said Bottas.

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