George Russell admits fighting ‘chest and back pains’ due to his porpoising Mercedes at the Emilia Romagna GP and insists the bouncing effect is ‘not sustainable for drivers to continue’
- George Russell finished an excellent fourth place at the Emilia Romagna GP
- However, the King’s Lynn star admits the porpoising of his car is worse than ever
- Mercedes have struggled with the bouncing car phenomenon more than most
- Russell is desperate for his team to find a solution to the problem
George Russell has displayed concern over how the current porpoising effect that has plagued the new generation of Formula One cars are having an effect on drivers’ health.
The Mercedes driver produced an excellent drive at the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix on Sunday to finish fourth despite starting from 11th place.
Yet despite another impressive performance where he comfortably beat team-mate Lewis Hamilton who was down in 13th, Russell admits the bouncing he is suffering inside the cockpit when the car is running at high speed is taking a physical toll on the drivers and has been the worst yet for the King’s Lynn born star.
George Russell finished an excellent fourth place at the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix on Sunday
‘When the car is in the right window and the tyres are in the right window, the car – except for the bouncing – feels really good to drive,’ he said after the race.
‘But the bouncing, it really takes your breath away. It’s the most extreme I’ve ever felt it.
‘I really hope we find a solution and I hope every team struggling with the bouncing finds a solution, because it’s not sustainable for the drivers to continue.
‘This is the first weekend I’ve truly been struggling with my back, and almost like chest pains from the severity of the bouncing.
The Brit battled through ‘chest and back pains’ to bag a decent points haul for Mercedes
‘It’s just what we have to do to go and do the fastest laps.’
Despite Russell’s relatively strong start to the season, Mercedes are overall desperately struggling to stay in the hunt for both championships having been well off the pace of Ferrari and Red Bull after the first four races, with the porpoising issue affecting them more than any other team.
Team boss Toto Wolff already admits the outfit, which has won the last eight consecutive constructors’ championships, must find quick improvements to get back into the title hunt, with lead driver Hamilton having been unable to negotiate traffic on his way to a poor 13th place at Imola.
Toto Wolff admits his team have to find improvements quickly to get back into the title hunt
‘It was really bad [Hamilton’s race]. We got squeezed by the other contenders and no overtaking in DRS train,’ Wolff told Sky Sports.
‘We saw with George [Russell] what you can do in clean air. We are not good enough for a world championship and need to fix the car.
‘We are going to look at things for Miami, we can make a step in the understanding of the car. It’s another day. We just need to understand more and bring development to the car and fix the bouncing.’