Hamilton: Mercedes’ ride height ‘can’t go any higher’

Sam Cooper
Lewis Hamilton during a practice session. Montreal, June 2022.

Mercedes' Lewis Hamilton drives during the Canadian Grand Prix practice session. Montreal, June 2022.

Lewis Hamilton said the ride height of the Mercedes W13 cannot go any higher in their battle against porpoising.

Of all the teams who have struggled with the porpoising issue this season, it is Mercedes who have looked most susceptible to it.

It has left them not only lacking speed but also their drivers leaving their cars as if they have just gone 12 rounds in a boxing fight.

A new technical directive was issued by the FIA ahead of the Canadian Grand Prix which would limit the amount of bouncing the cars would be allowed to record, but another question in regards to solving the problem is, why do they not just raise the ride height?

According to Hamilton, the answer is they cannot.

During the pre-Canada press conference this very question was put to the seven-time World Champion, but he said the Mercedes was at the maximum it could go.

“So in the last race [Azerbaijan] and previous races, we have raised the car and you still have bouncing,” he said.

“Porpoising is more about the flow structure underneath the car. So we’ve run the car very high, most of the season. And it’s not until Barcelona that we started to be able to get it a little bit lower.

“We had no bouncing for the first time in Barcelona, except for in the high-speed corners. And then it appeared again in Monaco and in Baku, so we had to raise the car again. But even when we raise the car, this thing still bounces. And we can’t go any higher actually. We’re limited by the rear suspension now.

“So we do lose performance naturally when you do go higher, but this porpoising is caused by the disrupted flow underneath the car.

“And so in terms of micro-concussions, I’ve definitely been having a lot more headaches in the past months, but I have not seen a specialist about it. So I’m not taking it too seriously or just taking painkillers. So hopefully I don’t have the concussions.”

Mercedes did at least see an improved performance in Canada where Hamilton finished P3 while his team-mate George Russell finished in fourth.

After experiencing 10gs of bouncing (equivalent to experiencing bumps of 80 kilograms in weight) in Baku, Hamilton said it was much lower in Montreal.

“If we got 10Gs in Baku, it was 2G to 3G at most here,” Hamilton told Auto Motor und Sport.

“For the first time I could see the leaders right up to the end. At times we were as fast as Red Bull and Ferrari.”


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