Hamilton welcomes FIA action on porpoising but Mercedes 'can't go any higher'

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Lewis Hamilton has welcomed the FIA's quick response as concerns grow over the impact of porpoising on the Formula 1 drivers.

The bouncing phenomenon has returned this year with the introduction of new cars that use ground effect aerodynamics to generate most of their downforce.

Hamilton's Mercedes team has been one of the worst affected by porpoising throughout the year.

But in Baku, the seven-time world champion was seen struggling to get out of his car post-race as he suffered severe back pain due to the severe bouncing on the long main straight.


Lewis isn't alone either, with AlphaTauri's Pierre Gasly revealing he had taken painkillers each day to get through the weekend in Azerbaijan.

And on Thursday, the FIA issued a technical directive announcing steps to protect the drivers by forcing teams to raise the ride height of cars that exceed an acceptable level of porpoising.

During practice in Montreal, the cars are being monitored to try and find where the acceptable level is which will then be enforced by the governing body going forward.

“Safety is the most important thing,” said Hamilton when asked about the directive on Friday. “I think in every team someone has complained about porpoising. We have to solve the problem for us and the future drivers.

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“It’s positive the FIA are working on it as we have this car for the next few years and it’s about getting rid of it and fixing it so all of us don’t have back problems going forward.

“I don’t think it will really change much in performance. I might be wrong. We’ll see.

“We definitely can’t stress how important health is for us. We want to do our job but race the safest.

"There’s no need for us to have long-term injuries. We need to work closely with the FIA and not take it lightly, which I don’t think they are.”

However, Hamilton also suggested Mercedes might not be able to comply with a required 10mm ride height increase if the porpoising is too severe.

“It wasn’t until Barcelona that we started to be able to get it a little bit lower and we had no bouncing for the first time in Barcelona, except for the high-speed corners,” said the Briton.


“Even when we raised the car [in Monaco and Baku because of the bumps on those street circuits] this thing still bounces.

“And we can’t go any higher, actually. We are limited by the rear suspension now.”