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"Tell them to b**ch as much as they could" - Red Bull claims rivals trying to take porpoising and make 'as big an issue out of it as they possibly could'

Red Bull boss Christian Horner looks at Lewis Hamilton's Mercedes W13 at the 2022 Azerbaijan GP
Red Bull boss Christian Horner looks at Lewis Hamilton's Mercedes W13 at the 2022 Azerbaijan GP

Red Bull team principal Christian Horner said that some rival F1 teams are trying to make porpoising “as big an issue" as they possibly can to get the FIA to change the regulations.

Horner believes that the teams complaining about the issue are trying to get out of their bad design decisions rather than being concerned about their drivers’ safety. Speaking to The Race following the Azerbaijan GP, he said:

“Tell them to b**ch as much as they could over the radio and make as big an issue out of it as they possibly could. It is uncomfortable but there are remedies to that but it’s detrimental to car performance.

He added:

“It’s part of the game.”

Many teams struggled with porpoising at the Azerbaijan GP last weekend, but none more so than Mercedes. The W13’s violent bouncing on the main straight generated as many as 6Gs of vertical force. And given the car’s stiff suspension and extremely low ride height, much of the force was directly absorbed by the drivers.

The reason why Lewis was losing on the straights, can’t even drive easy flat out corner without massive oversteer cause of porpoising https://t.co/BPqQU5NlUi

Following the race, the German team was extremely vocal about the issue impacting its drivers’ health, with team principal Toto Wolff even suggesting that they may have to rule out Lewis Hamilton for the Canadian GP due to back pain.

Drivers such as Pierre Gasly have also expressed their displeasure at having to sacrifice their physical health for gains in performance and called for the FIA to find a solution to the problem. However, many teams have argued against changes being made to the regulations, claiming that these issues can be simply fixed with setup changes.


Red Bull boss claims teams have a choice to avoid porpoising

Red Bull team principal Christian Horner claimed that teams could eliminate or reduce porpoising by simply raising the ride height of their cars, but are refusing to do so since it would result in loss of performance.

The Briton believes that these teams' complaints have more to do with their performance rather than genuine concern for their drivers. He said:

“[They can] complain from a safety point of view, but each team has a choice: to raise a car.

He further stated:

“You have a choice where you run your car. And you should never run a car that’s unsafe. But…I think that’s more for the technical guys because there’s certain cars that have issues and some cars that have few issues.”
Driving like this at 300km/h for around 2 hours is just insane, FIA need to do something about porpoising https://t.co/FVh9qnx6nb

The new cars use “ground effect” to generate downforce and necessitate a lower rear ride height. The closer the rear floor of the car is to the ground, the more downforce it generates, helping the car go faster through the corners.

However, lower rear heights also increase the chances of proposing. This has left certain teams, like Mercedes, in a tight spot. Meanwhile, teams such as Red Bull have a good handle on the issue and can run their cars close to the ground without any extreme bouncing.

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Edited by Anmol Gandhi
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