Journalists Sam Collins and Craig Scarborough of the F1 Tech Talk show have analyzed the evolution of porpoising problems on the grid. They looked
Journalists Sam Collins and Craig Scarborough of the F1 Tech Talk show have analyzed the evolution of porpoising problems on the grid. They looked at the frequency of oscillations per second and their amplitude (in terms of vertical acceleration), reeling off telemetry data.
The phenomenon, born of ground effect, is responsible for those drivers who finished the grand prix of the 1980s exhausted (how can we forget the podiums of Nigel Mansell and Nelson Piquet), which has been verified in several races in 2022. In addition, it makes uncertain and more ineffective aerodynamic load, which goes from a maximum level to a total loss in each oscillation, which impairs braking, acceleration, cornering speed and, last but not least, can damage the electronic controls.
The solution found so far to mitigate porpoising has been to apply setups that are as rigid as possible and raise the height of the floor, which prevents porpoising but at the cost of losing ground effect. Mercedes is the team that has perhaps reduced the vertical variation the most without practically increasing the frequency of the oscillations. Another is Williams, which has allowed Albon in some cases to scratch valuable points.
Although Red Bull and Ferrari have improved a lot, the Italian car seems to suffer the most from porpoising. In contrast, Alfa Romeo presents the least oscillation since the same tests (it is seen that its reliability problems go the other way); another that has improved spectacularly in relative terms (although it has only served to get out of the back of the grid and mix, at times, with the middle pack) is Aston Martin. The one that has been stuck since the second week of preseason is McLaren, which, despite everything, is still the best of the rest of the grid, at least in the Constructors’ Championship.
Finally, there are those who got worse: Haas regressed and cannot sustain in the Race what little he continues to achieve in Qualifying. And Alpine has increased the frequency of the jumps and, to a lesser extent, the amplitude: it also sinks in the race.