Grosjean: Drivers just have to deal with nasty bouncing

Michelle Foster
Lewis Hamilton with his hand on his sore back. Baku June 2022

Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton with his hand on his sore back. Baku June 2022

Romain Grosjean says while the cars he raced in F1 were always “bottoming hard on the straight”, he never experienced the “nasty” bouncing of this year’s cars.

But, he added, the drivers must “deal with it”.

This year’s all-new ground effect aerodynamic cars are designed to make it easier for the cars to follow each other, Formula 1 hoping that they would produce better racing.

What they have created along with that, some teams more than others, is porpoising.

It is a phenomenon that goes hand-in-hand with ground effect aerodynamic, the car’s aero stalling the closer it is pulled to the ground and then kicking in when the car begins to rise, the bouncing motion called porpoising.

In order to alleviate it as much as possible, the team have to raise the ride height of the car but that costs them downforce and pace.

Grosjean, who last raced in Formula 1 two years ago, old the Dutch edition of GPFans that it “looks nasty, it looks bad.

“We have always been running the cars as low as we could and bottoming hard on the straight but not bouncing the way they do.”

Romain Grosjean during qualifying for the IndyCar race at Road America, Elkhart Lake. Wisconsin June 2021.

But it is here to stay so the Frenchman says the drivers need to get used to it.

Asked if he felt sorry for today’s drivers, some of whom have complained of sore backs and necks, he replied: “I do, I do. It is hard on the body.

“I think it is definitely not something we like to see but it is here so you just have to deal with it.”

Last time out in Canada the FIA introduced a new technical directive aimed at helping to protect the drivers in the short-term.

Monitoring the vertical oscilations of each car, motorsport’s governing body intended setting out a maximum level with reports saying any car that exceeds that will have its ride height raised by 10mm.

Both Red Bull and Ferrari opposed the FIA intervening.

“It seems very unfair at this point of the year when there’s only really one team that’s missed the target,” Red Bull team boss told Reuters.

“Is it right to change everything for that one team or should the one team change to get itself more in line?

“Personally I would put the emphasis on the team to get itself together.”

“For us, that TD’s not applicable,” team boss Mattia Binotto added to The Race. “And it’s something we mentioned to the FIA.

“A TD is there to clarify regulations, or to address policing. It is not there to change the regulations. That’s [a matter of] governance.”


The porpoising debate rages on

The FIA issued a technical directive last week to combat porpoising, and not all the teams agree on the issue.