Norris: Porpoising ‘not anything to complain about’

Henry Valantine
Lando Norris leaning over a fence. Baku June 2022.

McLaren driver Lando Norris speaks while leaning on a fence. Baku June 2022.

Lando Norris believes Mercedes are prioritising performance over comfort, while McLaren’s opposite approach makes porpoising something which should not be complained about.

Lewis Hamilton was seen struggling to get out of his Mercedes – the car arguably worst affected by the bouncing sensation – at the end of the Azerbaijan Grand Prix, and team principal Toto Wolff went so far as to doubt whether or not the pain he is experiencing would rule him out of the next race in Canada.

While the solution to porpoising would be to raise the ride height of the car, that would come at a cost to outright pace as the ground-effect aerodynamics on the new cars rely on the floors being close to the ground to maximise their performance.

Porpoising is becoming an increasingly hot topic in the Formula 1 paddock, with a number of drivers having now expressed concerns over their health due to how much their bodies are being shaken around in the cockpit, with their backs and heads put under increased strain.

Norris believes the teams suffering from bouncing cars should follow McLaren’s example and take the simple solution for the moment, believing his team have made the right compromise in trying to balance performance with comfort in the cockpit – and the onus is on others to fix the issues on their own.

He joked when asked how was the ride in his McLaren that “it’s beautiful, I’m loving it at the minute”, before adding to F1 TV: “I’m not complaining. Yeah, we have some porpoising, some bouncing, but it’s what you have to deal with.

“It’s the trade of trying to gain performance and we can quite easily go lower, gain performance but have more porpoising, but we just think where we are at is the correct amount.

“So I’m sure Mercedes could have a much different floor and raise the ride height and it would be much nicer for them, but they obviously just don’t want to lose performance.

“So I don’t think it’s anything to complain about. It’s just people need to find ways of fixing it themselves.”

Norris and his McLaren team-mate Daniel Ricciardo were both subjected to team orders during the Azerbaijan Grand Prix, with Norris told to hold station behind the Australian at the end of the race as they took home P8 and P9 finishes.