Christian Horner, Red Bull team principal, believes the Mercedes champion has gone too far in emphasizing the back pain caused by porpoising. While Toto Wolff is very tough on the W13
The image of a sore Lewis Hamilton, struggling out of his Mercedes after the checkered flag of the Azerbaijani GP is among the most telling of the weekend in Baku. Since Friday’s free practice session, the seven-time world champion has experienced on his skin – or, better, on his back – the uncomfortable phenomenon of porpoising, that hopping at high speeds which, repeated for the 2,200 meters of the starting straight , covered in the 51 laps of the race, put a strain on his physical endurance. To the point that even the team principal Toto Wolff, a few minutes after the lights went out, had shown doubts about the possibility of seeing Lewis (who suffers the consequences of the jolts more than his teammate George Russell) endure the pain until the checkered flag. Not everyone, however, was so impressed by the English champion’s difficulties at the end of the GP …
HORNER AND THE SUSPECTS ABOUT HAMILTON
Not surprisingly, among those who were not convinced by Hamilton’s behavior is Christian Horner. Immediately after the race, the Red Bull team principal hypothesized how Lewis’s obvious difficulties in getting off his W13 were a coup de theater to convince the FIA to intervene decisively on porpoising. “Had I been there in their situation – explained the English manager after the checkered flag in Baku – I would have asked my drivers to complain as much as possible via radio to highlight the problem. It’s a part of the game, a bit like the players diving into the penalty area. Of course, it will be uncomfortable to drive in those conditions, but there are certainly remedies to prevent this from happening (increasing the ground clearance, ed) which are detrimental to lap times. So, the easiest thing to do is to complain that there is a security problem but, if that were the case, all teams would be affected. I don’t think it’s right to penalize those who have done a good job in favor of those who have missed their targets ”.
THE BATTLE BETWEEN TEAM AND FIA
On the other hand, in F1 it takes very little to unleash poisons and suspicions. And it is a fact that the teams that suffer the most from porpoising – Mercedes in the lead – are calling for the Federation’s intervention to resolve at a regulatory level an issue that has implications (also) for the safety on the track and the health of the drivers: the request is to make theinert, an element of the perfectly legal suspension until 2021, the use of which has been banned by the new technical regulation. A hydraulic system that would, in effect, reduce straight-line hopping caused by ground effect, helping to keep ground clearance more stable as straight-line speed increased. But, as is often the case in a highly competitive environment such as racing, the teams (like Red Bull) that have managed to tame the problem understandably do not look favorably on the possibility of losing a performance advantage.
WOLFF’S RADIO TEAM: “W13 DI M *** A”
Arm wrestling with the FIA aside, there was no shortage of apologies from Toto Wolff to the address of his champion. On his return lap, the Briton received compliments from the faithful engineer Peter Bonnington, before the Mercedes team principal, very hard on the W13, opened up on the radio: “Lewis we all know that this is a kind of car. shit to drive right now. I’m very sorry about your back too, we’ll sort things out. Well done”. “Good work guys – answered the seven-time world champion – excellent strategy. Thank you for continuing to push, but let’s make some changes, okay? ”. Meanwhile, next Sunday we will be back on track for the Canadian GP in Montreal and Hamilton will certainly have to undergo special treatments to recover, both in terms of muscle and bone, from the 51 laps in Azerbaijan. And it was Wolff himself who admitted that the reserve drivers Nyck De Vries and Stoffel Vandoorne, Mercedes standard bearers in the Formula E World Championship, are in early warning to get in the car in the event of the 37-year-old English forfeit.
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