Finding answers to Mercedes’ porpoising problem, according to George Russell, will assist the team tackle “99 percent” of its problems.
Despite sitting second in the constructors’ standings, the Silver Arrows are well aware that Red Bull and Ferrari are “in a different level.”
The W13’s major issue has been bouncing over its suspension due to aero loading in a straight line, a problem that Red Bull and Ferrari appear to have at least figured out, resulting in Mercedes’ lack of performance.
In Saudi Arabia, Lewis Hamilton finished 10th after failing to qualify in Q2, whereas Russell finished in the top five for the second race in a row, and when asked about the differences between the two cars, he explained.
“On Lewis’ side of the garage they probably went more conservative with the setup than we did,” George Russell said. “That was the difference and it’s a real fine line between getting the car in the right window.”
“There’s so many factors at play when we’re balancing and sometimes we change the setup thinking it will improve but it makes it slightly worse. It’s seemingly a little bit inconsistent.”
“There’s so many factors at play between the mechanical stiffness of the car, the stiffness of the floors, the design of the floors, tyre pressures.”
“There’s so many factors at play that contribute to making it better or worse.”
“The faster you go, the worse it gets,” Russell said, explaining how altering the engine mode can influence aerodynamic performance. “It makes qualifying harder because we turn the engines up for maximum power to go faster down the straight.”
“It’s causing more downforce and more porpoising so we almost need to pre-empt this issue and also in the race, with DRS closed you have more downforce than when it’s open.
“That’s another factor we need to consider so we’re still learning and that’s why we’re far from optimal.”
“If we solve the porpoising, that will solve 99 per cent of our issues,” he cpncluded.