Good news for Mercedes as Toto Wolff confirms no porpoising for W14 in early test run

Sam Cooper
George Russell, Mercedes, during the pre-season test. Bahrain, February 2023.

George Russell during the pre-season test. Bahrain, February 2023.

In contrast to this time a year ago, Mercedes’ Toto Wolff is happy to see that his team’s car is no longer “bouncing around.”

It was during pre-season testing in 2022 that the Silver Arrows first became aware of a porpoising issue that would not only go on to derail their Constructors’ title defence but also limit them to just one win as they finished P3.

But 2023 has provided a new opportunity to eliminate some of the disadvantages of the W13 while keeping some of the car’s better performing aspects and after the first test session, the signs were good for Mercedes in terms of a lack of porpoising.

George Russell may have finished P5 in the standings but he did so without feeling like his teeth were going to fall out of his mouth with the W14 only experience bouncing during the bumpier parts of the track.

Speaking during the lunchtime break, Wolff said they now had a base they could build on, something they could not claim to have this time last year.

“He [Russell] was certainly happy with the car,” Wolff said to media including “It seems to be balanced in the right way.

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“We haven’t seen any bouncing. We had a little bit of a movement in turn 12 but not to anywhere close to the degree that we had last year.

“We’re getting a lot of data that was important to correlate, obviously after last year.

“Because the car was just bouncing around [last year] and we weren’t really able to drive it correctly. So that is very different.

“I think we have a solid base now to work from and try to optimise the car which we haven’t done yet.

“It’s really just finding out are there any areas that could be real performance [improvements]?”

Ferrari’s Fred Vasseur was another team principal to comment on the porpoising and was pleased to report that his team was also free of the bouncing effect, although Carlos Sainz’s head movement seemed to suggest otherwise.

“It’s the same for us with the car bouncing not at all [as much] as it was one year ago. Today we had some issues at parts of the track where it was bumpy as it was before but it’s a different issue.”