Hamilton Reports Mercedes Still Faces Bouncing Issues, Similar to Last Year

Lewis Hamilton and Mercedes are struggling with persistent issues, notably ‘porpoising’, that have hindered their performance compared to their rivals, Max Verstappen and Red Bull, as evidenced during the qualifying session at the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix, where Hamilton qualified in P8 and his teammate George Russell in P7, despite efforts to address these problems.

Highlights

‣ Lewis Hamilton and Mercedes have been struggling with performance issues, particularly with “bouncing” or “porpoising,” during qualifying sessions, as seen at the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix where Hamilton qualified in P8 and his teammate George Russell in P7.

‣ The issue of bouncing has been a persistent problem for Mercedes for three years, affecting their performance and competitiveness, with Hamilton expressing frustration over the team’s inability to resolve it.

‣ Despite the challenges, Hamilton praised his teammate George Russell for his performance and comfort in the car amidst the ongoing issues, indicating a positive team dynamic and effort to overcome the difficulties.

‣ Hamilton and Mercedes are committed to identifying and fixing the root cause of the bouncing issue, with Hamilton noting that the problem is particularly exacerbated by high-speed sectors and lateral loads that destabilize the car’s balance.


Lewis Hamilton and his team at Mercedes are scratching their heads. Max Verstappen and Red Bull? They’re flying high. Hamilton, with seven world titles to his name, just can’t seem to catch a break with his Mercedes ride.

At the Jeddah Corniche Circuit, under a blanket of stars, the story was the same. Verstappen, with his RB20, blitzed through qualifying, snagging pole position. Meanwhile, Hamilton lagged behind in P8. It’s those darn 2022 regulation changes again, causing Mercedes more headaches.

George Russell, Hamilton’s teammate, didn’t fare much better. He ended up just a spot above Lewis. For Mercedes, it was another letdown. But hope springs eternal for Saturday’s race.

“It’s three years in a row now. We’ve got to fix it.” That’s the mood in the Mercedes camp. Both Hamilton and Russell are wrestling with their cars, especially around turns eight, nine, and ten. That bouncing – or ‘porpoising’ – has been a thorn in their side for too long.

Hamilton, ever the Brit, put it plainly. “It was similar to previous years,” he said. The car’s got its perks, but that bouncing is a real party pooper. “We’ve got to fix it. It’s three years in a row. We’ve got to get on top of it.”

During qualifying, the bouncing was back with a vengeance. “The bouncing we have through turns six, seven, eight, nine and 10, which probably affected George… it’s something they have not been able to fix. We made some changes overnight, and this morning, the car felt so much better. I was re-gaining this confidence again, but then when we got to qualifying, it disappeared again.”

Hamilton had some kind words for Russell, though. Despite the bouncing blues, Russell’s been handling it like a champ. “George did a great job. He’s a lot more comfortable in the car – similar to the past couple of years, I’d say.

“But we keep our heads down and keep working away. I’ve got a bit of a better feeling as to where the issues are coming from, so I will try and address it with the team.” Hamilton’s on a mission to pinpoint the problem. The team’s tried everything, but the solution remains elusive.

“We had some bouncing in Bahrain, but nowhere near as intense as here. That first sector is super high-speed with a lot of lateral loads, and the bouncing really offsets the car quite a bit. If you imagine when the car goes up and down at the back, your balance shifts forwards and rearwards.

“If you are doing that at 160 or 170, correcting that each time… the others like Max are flat through six, seven and eight, and the balance is just stable. That’s what we are working towards.” Hamilton’s not giving up. The quest for stability and speed continues.

Albert Ramirez
Albert Ramirez
Albert Ramirez is a senior writer at F1Highlights.com. With a passion for motorsports, Albert brings a unique perspective to the world of Formula One. With over five years of experience as a sports reporter, he has honed his skills in capturing the essence of the sport.

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