Lewis Hamilton: Toto Wolff makes worrying admission about Mercedes man

Lewis Hamilton: Toto Wolff makes worrying admission about Mercedes man

Mercedes team boss Toto Wolff has issued a worrying message to reporters, stating that seven-time champion Lewis Hamilton, and other drivers, could risk brain damage due to porpoising.

The Mercedes camp have been working on a remedy for the bouncing car all campaign, with drivers Hamilton and newly instated George Russell victims of the issue, and the pair have consequently fallen behind in the race for driver and constructor glory.

Porpoising is a racing term attributed to the bouncing effect when cars achieve high speeds combined with ground effect, creating a motion likened to a porpoise through water.

The issues have been heightened considerably during the current race season, with radical changes to the rules resulting in porpoising turning up a notch, which does not bode well for the drivers.

Wolff said: “I still believe that the FIA and all of us must do something about it.

“Frequencies of 1 to 2 hertz that last for a few minutes can cause brain damage. We have 6 to 7 hertz for several hours.”

The issues with porpoising have plateaued across recent races, with smoother tracks in Canada, Britain, Austria, France and Hungary all contributing to a stark upturn in form for Hamilton, who has now clinched five successive podium finishes.

Lewis Hamilton: Toto Wolff makes worrying admission about Mercedes man
BUDAPEST, HUNGARY – JULY 31: Lewis Hamilton of Mercedes and Great Britain, Max Verstappen of Red Bull Racing and The Netherlands, Adrian Newey of Red Bull and Great Britain and George Russell of Mercedes and Great Britain on the podium during the F1 Grand Prix of Hungary at Hungaroring on July 31, 2022 in Budapest, Hungary. (Photo by Peter Fox/Getty Images)

And with the summer break now in full swing, with the Belgian Grand Prix the next to take place at the end of August, the FIA have confirmed that minor alterations are underway to rectify the issue and alleviate the strain certain drivers are beset with – with further technical changes to continue over the off-season.

Not everyone appears happy with the changes, however, with Red Bull and Ferrari concerned over a loss of pace as a consequence of the porpoising adjustments.

Red Bull principal Christian Horner hit back at complaints stemming largely from rival camp Mercedes, saying: “I think there just needs to be a common-sense solution, not rewriting the rulebook for next year at a point of the year, with budget caps where they are, which is just too late.

“I think it’s actually an even bigger issue for some of the smaller teams that quite simply wouldn’t have the resources to react.”

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It remains to be seen whether projected changes will continue to serve Hamilton and Mercedes well as they aim to steer the ship back towards a positive course, and potentially ruffle a few feathers as the season reaches the business end.

The 37-year-old is still remarkably yet to claim his maiden race victory of the campaign, but with tweaks being made across the board, fans can safely assume that such successes are not too far around the corner.

Despite his potential revival, Hamilton still resides in sixth place, 12 points behind teammate Russell and a whopping 112 behind Championship leader Max Verstappen.

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