Binotto expects boost for team that cuts out ‘porpoising’

Jamie Woodhouse
Charles Leclerc on-track in Barcelona on day one. Spain, February 2022..

Charles Leclerc tests the Ferrari F1-75 on day one of the Barcelona shakedown. Spain, February 2022.

According to Ferrari team principal Mattia Binotto, finding a performance-friendly fix for ‘porpoising’ will prove a key early advantage.

With day two of the 2022 pre-season shakedown in Barcelona complete, teams continue to learn more and more about their new challengers with each lap.

But such is the magnitude of the regulatory changes between seasons, it is a process that will be ongoing for a good while yet.

And a main issue many teams seem to be encountering in this early stage is ‘porpoising’ down the straights – bouncing caused by the underfloors of these new ground-effect cars.

The problem, it seems, did not show up in pre-Barcelona simulations. But now it has, Binotto sees a clear advantage awaiting the team that finds a solution outside of raising the ride height and cutting downforce.

Carlos Sainz on the start/finish straight. F1 Testing Barcelona February 2022.
Ferrari driver Carlos Sainz on the main straight during pre-season running. Barcelona February 2022.

“It seems most of us at least underestimated the problem,” he is quoted as saying by Motor Sport Magazine.

“We found when we were on track we are bouncing more than expected.

“Optimising the performance — because it should not be a compromise you strike — [in] avoiding bouncing but getting the most out of the performance of the car, that will be a less easy exercise.

“I’m pretty sure at some stage each single team will get to the solution. The ones that get there sooner will have an advantage at the start of the season.”

Alfa Romeo team principal Frederic Vasseur feels this is an issue that will be eliminated “after three or four events” of the 2022 season.

But in the opening few races, he too believes speed in overcoming the obstacle will be key.

“Aero phenomenons are not easy to duplicate in the wind tunnel or simulator and we are all facing the same issue,” he told reporters at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya.

“As Mattia said, the fix is not the biggest issue but to be efficient will be the key.

“How quickly the team reacts will be key for the first races. I’m sure [after] three or four events we won’t speak any more about bouncing.”

 

Red Bull team principal Christian Horner, meanwhile, said that for personnel who have knowledge back to past ground-effect cars, which were last seen in Formula 1 in the early 1980s, ‘porpoising’ is not an unexpected feature of the 2022 cars.

“These ground-effect cars act in a very different way,” he told Sky F1.

“It’s a characteristic of the ’80s I think, so for those that are old enough to remember that inner-design team, it’s not something that isn’t unexpected.

“So it’s an interesting new dynamic, but some cars will deal with it better than others.”

 

Horner 'surprised' by early performance of 2022 cars

Christian Horner is surprised by the early performance of the new 2022 cars.