George Russell is concerned about the ‘porpoising’ phenomena that affected F1 testing last week, but believes he has a remedy.
The return of a forbidden technology from the 1990s, according to George Russell, could remedy the ‘porpoising’ difficulties that dominated headlines at last week’s first pre-season test in Barcelona.
The shift to a ground effect philosophy is one of the fundamental features of F1’s all-new regulations for 2022. This implies that airflow under the car generates the majority of downforce, effectively sucking the vehicle to the ground.
Nevertheless, the car’s natural frequency can generate resonance through the chassis, as evidenced by cars bouncing or ‘porpoising’ down the straights, as seen in a video of Charles Leclerc.
“I think it has the potential to be a real safety concern if it gets out of control,” Russell told media, including RacingNews365.com, when asked to explain what it’s like to deal with porpoising behind the wheel.
“If you’re flat out down the straight and it starts to happen, you don’t want to back off in a race scenario. We saw with Charles’ video just how bad it was for them [Ferrari], so I think we will need to find a solution.”
Russell wants to see active suspension back to Formula One
Russell then suggested that active suspension be reintroduced, which was prohibited prior to the 1994 season and allowed teams to improve car ride height from corner to corner.
“I guess if active suspension was there that could be solved with the click of your fingers,” Russell continued.
“The cars would naturally be a hell of a lot faster if we had that and I’m sure all the teams are capable of that. That could be one for the future.
“But let’s see [at the next test] in Bahrain. I’m sure the teams will come up with some smart ideas around this issue.”
Pushed on the matter, Russell added: “I think it’s clear if we had active suspension, the cars would be a hell of a lot faster for the same aerodynamic surfaces, because you’d be able to optimise the ride heights for every corner speed, and optimise it down the straight for the least amount of drag.
“That’s an easy way to make the cars go faster, and if you’re thinking of a safety aspect, then potentially… I’m sure there are more limitations, I’m not an engineer, but we wouldn’t have this issue down the straight, that’s for sure.”
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