George Russell has reiterated that a 'safer ride' on the track is paramount for all drivers after reports revealed teams had voted against eliminating porpoising ahead of the 2022 F1 season.
The bouncing effect caused by the return of ground effect, one of the biggest changes in the aerodynamic regulations, has been a thorn in the side of drivers ever since the first pre-season shakedown in Barcelona.
When it was revealed to George Russell, the GPDA president, that porpoising could have been dealt with even before it began after his P3 finish at the 2022 F1 Azerbaijan GP, the Briton said:
“Yeah, I think that was totally understandable because every single team is understanding and developing their cars around a set of regulations and any change, nobody knows what is going to be the consequences. And even us, I think we voted against it. And even now, we want change but who knows what that change is, it’s just us, 20 drivers, we would choose to have a safer ride out there and when you’re going 300 kmph between the walls and you barely can keep the car in a straight line. I couldn’t even see my pit board, the car was moving around so much. We have the technology in Formula 1 to resolve this with a click of our fingers, I believe, so as I said, nobody’s looking to take advantage from this, we’re just looking for a safer, easier solution.”
George Russell has suggested F1 consider bringing back active suspension to combat porpoising
Earlier in the season, George Russell had suggested that F1 should allow teams to implement active suspensions to tackle the issue of porpoising. Having championed it all since the first pre-season test in Barcelona, in an interview with Sky Sports, the Mercedes driver said:
“I’ve spoken about active suspension before. That was the solution back in the eighties, so maybe that’s the solution [now]. From a pure racing and driving experience, it would make the cars much quicker because you could put the car at the perfect ride height for each individual corner speed.”
Russell, the only driver to finish in the top five in each round of racing this season, went on to add, saying:
“It’s pretty straightforward technology these days, it’s something you see on road cars as well, especially in 4x4 cars that change the ride height depending on terrain. It seems like it could be a simple solution. It’s something that [would] contribute to making these cars even faster. I don’t make the rules, I’m not a designer, maybe there are other limitations around it and it is not as simple as I thought. I think it could be cool, it could be interesting.”
Active suspension was first pioneered by Lotus in early 1980s. It became revolutionary in F1 when Williams was able to control each wheel separately with the help of control electronics on the FW15C in 1993.