Russell: I can't see us running like this for the next four years

Russell: I can’t see us running like this for the next four years

Russell: I can't see us running like this for the next four years
George Russell is concerned with the current generation of Formula 1 cars’, low ride height and bouncing, claiming it would be tough to endure the next four years.

Russell may be the most vocal driver regarding the quality of the ride in the 2022 ground-effect F1 cars – that have an inherent “porpoising” trait – since his W13 is worst of the crop with in the bouncing department.

Despite some improvement in Barcelona, the 2022 Silver Arrow returned to bouncing in Monaco, but it turned violent yet again around the streets of Baku.

Russell, who finished FP1 eighth fastest found three tenths more than Hamilton in FP2 ending the session seventh albeit 1.324s shy of the top time, was vocal about his car troubles in his team’s Friday summary.

“It was a tricky day and clearly we weren’t as competitive as we’d have liked to be,” he said. “It’s a tough track to get the tyres switched on and in the right window.

“You saw a number of other drivers set their fastest times right at the end of a run, whereas Ferrari and Red Bull seem able to just turn it on. At the moment, they have an inherently quicker car than us and we’re doing everything we can to catch up.

“Even if we get on top of the tyres, that’s only 50% of the problem, the other 50% is just car performance,” the Briton admitted.

The cars are not comfortable to drive

“Now with the cars are running so close to the ground, in the high speed corners the cars are fully bottoming out and it’s the same for everybody, it’s really not comfortable to drive.

“I don’t know what the future holds for this era of cars but I can’t see us running like this for the next four years so for all of us, conversations will be needed as we’re all in the same boat,” Russell insisted.

Russell was not the only driver complaining about the bouncing, as his teammate Lewis Hamilton was suffering the same agony in the sister W13.

Hamilton said: “The hardest thing about today was the bouncing, we’re hitting serious speeds at the end of the straight and bottoming out.”

Ferrari, despite being the fastest at the end of Friday in Baku, at least in the hands of Charles Leclerc, was also showing some considerable jumps along the circuit straights.

Carlos Sainz did complain about that saying: “There were quite a few challenges during FP1 and I was struggling a bit too much with the bottoming and the bouncing, which made the session quite uncomfortable.”

Mick Schumacher pulled on the side of the track early in FP1, but not because he crashed, but due to a water leak on his VF22, something the German attributed to the dreaded “bouncing”.

Mick Schumacher’s water leak due to bouncing

Schumacher said: “It seems that the problem with the water leak came from the heavy bouncing that we suffered in the first lap, and it just wrecked the plan.

“It’s the first time physically that I do feel the effect of it, it’s quite harsh on the body and also on the car, so it’s definitely something to think about for future events,” the Haas driver added.

Interestingly though, not all drivers are complaining about the “porpoising” as the likes of Red Bull, Alpine, and McLaren did not report any issues in that regards after practice in Baku. Could it be that not all F1 engineers have found a solution for it?

Maybe in 2023, a solution could be developed, but it would interesting to see if the statement Russell gave gains any traction, and builds momentum going forward, and how will the sport react to this problem.