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Formula 1

05th Aug 2022

Lewis Hamilton could be left with brain damage due to porpoising Mercedes, according to Toto Wolff

Daniel Brown

‘I still believe that the FIA and all of us must do something about it’

Mercedes Team Principal Toto Wolff has suggested that his drivers could be left with brain damage because of their porpoising car.

The team’s drivers – Lewis Hamilton and George Russell – have struggled with their Mercedes car bouncing all season, which has led to the pair falling behind their rivals in the driver standings.

However, the gap has been closed in recent week as the grid headed to “smoother” tracks – with seven-time champion Hamilton currently on a run of five consecutive podiums.

Wolff warns the situation is not safe for drivers

Porpoising has become an issue for Mercedes and several other teams on the grid after the introduction of the new 2022 regulations.

Now, Wolff has warned that the situation was not safe for drivers, telling reporters: “I still believe that the FIA and all of us must do something about it.

“Frequencies of 1 to 1 hertz that last for a few minutes can cause brain damage. We have 6 to 7 hertz for several hours.”

A number of rule changes are set to come into place after F1’s summer break, with the Belgian Grand Prix the next race in the calendar. The tweaks should see porpoising restrained, much to the annoyance of some teams.

The likes of Ferrari and Red Bull have largely gotten on top of the bouncing, and the rule changes could potentially see them lose their speed advantage over their rivals.

Red Bull boss Horner ‘didn’t see any issues’ with porpoising

Christian Horner has insisted that he “didn’t see any issues” with porpoising over the last few races and rejected the comments of Wolff.

He said: “That [argument] doesn’t count because Silverstone, Paul Ricard and Austria aren’t exactly tracks we bounce that much on anyway.

“I don’t want to come to Spa or some of the later races where the track isn’t as smooth as a conventional racetrack and we didn’t do anything about it.

“There is all this talk about lobbying in both directions, but what are we talking about here anyway?”

Max Verstappen currently leads the driver standings, sitting 80 points in front of second-placed Charles Leclerc. The next race takes place in Belgium on August 28.

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