Frenzy Bouncy Castle
Formula 1 has a serious problem. Many cars jump, especially Mercedes affected. The health and concentration of drivers are affected as a result of this incident. The World Motorsport Association is now responding after massive complaints.
TookEavis Hamilton struggled – first on the track, then out of the car. At the Baku Grand Prix, the record world champion was violently shaken for over 50 laps. Since the start of the season, the new racing cars have suffered what is known as “bouncing”, i.e. jumping continuously and the associated hard impact on the track.
“My back is killing me,” the 37-year-old Brit radioed during last Sunday’s race. When he crossed the finish line and exited the Mercedes, Hamilton held his back. One could only imagine the pain-distorted face under the helmet. But you didn’t need to see him to know how he was doing.
At first there were speculations that the superstar for today’s race in Canada (8 p.m. in WELT’s sports ticker) may fail. There was only a week between the two Grand Prix. But Hamilton cleared everything up a few hours later. Even after five days in Montreal, he wasn’t too excited about his experiences in a racing car: “It was so painful. I’m glad I made it out of the car.”
According to Mercedes boss Toto Wolff, drivers in Baku were constantly being shoved by a force of 6G – which is six times their body weight. He says: “It goes far beyond muscle problems. The spine and hips are also affected. And of course the head too.” The shock also has an effect on driving behavior: “Drivers say they can’t see the curve properly before applying the brakes.”
But how does the bounce happen?
Since this year, the new era of Formula 1 cars has been generating a lot of downforce – about 40 percent – through the underbody. The so-called “ground effect” is created by the fact that the ducts under the car compress the air and the resulting negative pressure “idls” the car on the track.
The car briefly touches the road, the contact pressure disappears and the car lifts up again. And it happens in quick succession. The drivers are quite scared of this. Hamilton commented slyly on the problems: “I’m probably a few centimeters shorter now.”
Sports scientist Ingo Frobois says: “Basically, loads in proper form are especially good for the back – it needs impact loads because it encourages bone growth. But: since in Formula 1 cars The seats aren’t really placed comfortably enough that, among other things, small vertebral collapse can occur if the back is exposed to too much impact.
Frobois cautioned: “It should not happen that pilots are exposed to these heavy loads too often. Otherwise, long-term damage to the spinal cord may occur, which may force the driver to retire early or pursue an active career.” The latter can cause permanent pain.
Teams need to make adjustments
The World Motorsport Association has now responded after heavy complaints from drivers. This is done “in the interest of safety”, according to the Fia. After consulting with Formula 1 doctors, some teams will probably have to make adjustments to the cars. Teams that jump too much are obliged to plant cars. This should reduce rocking in the short term. In addition, a meeting should clarify how the problem should be resolved in the long term. Froboese: “Car hopping should be minimized.”
Not only does the physical discomfort of the drivers allow Fia to get into action. It is very dangerous when drivers cannot fully concentrate on driving at a top speed of more than 300 km/h. “Safety is the most important thing,” Hamilton says.
Mick Schumacher reports that as a result of bouncing, the body is under constant muscle tension, even when upright, where it can normally relax a bit: “When you’re sitting in a car, So you really want to be fully focused on driving. And not be constantly distracted by pain.” Sebastian Vettel said: “It can’t go on like this.”
Verstappen starts from pole position in Canada
Meanwhile, Max Verstappen could extend his championship lead in Canada this Sunday. The 24-year-old defending champions will start from first place. His World Cup rivals are well behind Red Bull’s Dutchman, who have already won five times this season.
At the Alpine, Fernando Alonso took second place in qualifying on Saturday. The second row is made up of Carlos Sainz at Ferrari and record world champion Hamilton at Mercedes. He is followed by Haas with Kevin Magnussen and Schumacher. Michael Schumacher’s 23-year-old son has the best qualification for the first Formula 1 point of his career.
Compatriot Sebastian Vettel finished only 17th in the knockout stage, but he benefited from an early penalty against Charles Leclerc at Aston Martin. The third World Cup is to start from behind from Monaco. He is 34 points behind Verstappen in the standings. The Dutchman is 150 points ahead of his teammate Sergio Pérez (129), who did not progress beyond 13th place on the grid.
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