George Russell has revealed that the level of porpoising he had to suffer with his Mercedes car during the Imola Grand Prix was so extreme it was giving him pain in his chest and took his breath away.
The Briton is the only man to have finished every race inside the top 5 this season, and that level of consistency in a car that is clearly still riddled with issues is some effort, especially given how his team-mate Lewis Hamilton appears to be struggling that bit more.
Indeed, Russell has done really well in getting the W13 around each Grand Prix and scoring decent points, especially when it appears that the Merc is suffering more than any other car with porpoising, caused by ground effect underneath the chassis.
Certainly, we’ve become accustomed to seeing the Mercedes drivers’ heads bobbing up and down at high-speed along the straights in what has made for uncomfortable viewing, so you can only imagine what it’s like to be being actually knocked about in the cockpit at that high speed.
Russell has given a good description of the sensation, though, with him revealing at Imola it was perhaps the worst he has had so far:
“When the car and tyres are in the right window the car, except for the bouncing, feels really good to drive,” said Russell to the gathered media post-Imola, including Give Me Sport.
“But the bouncing 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 who’s struggling with the bouncing finds a solution because it’s not sustainable for the drivers to continue with this level.
“This is the first weekend where I’ve been truly struggling with my back and like chest pains from the severity of the bouncing. But it’s just what we have to do get the fastest lap times out of the car.”
Mercedes really do need to find an answer and quick, with Lewis Hamilton going on record to say he felt as though his title chances were non-existent this season now.
Russell is doing a fine job, meanwhile, and he’ll just hope once things are fixed he might be able to at least get in the fight for standalone race victories this year.
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