Porpoising Issues: Toto Wolff raises ‘brain damage’ fears for F1 drivers after Lewis Hamilton complaints
Toto Wolff has called on the FIA to make more changes to address porpoising concerns to stop drivers from suffering brain damage. He claims drivers could suffer due to the intensity of the bouncing seen at several tracks this season.
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It comes after Lewis Hamilton was seen clutching his back in pain when stepping out of the car at the Azerbaijan Grand Prix. Wolff said: “I still believe that the FIA and all of us must do something about it.
“Frequencies of 1 to 1 hertz that last for a few minutes can cause brain damage. We have 6 to 7 hertz for several hours.” However, Mercedes rivals have hit back at Wolff’s push, claiming the porpoising issues have not been as bad in recent races.
Red Bull boss Christian Horner claimed he “didn’t see any issues” at the French Grand Prix or over the past three or four races. He blasted the FIA for getting involved in the debate, stressing it was not their duty to ensure Mercedes were still competitive.
However, Wolff rejected his rivals and denied that more help is needed to address the problem. He explained: “That (argument) doesn’t count because Silverstone, Paul Ricard and Austria aren’t exactly tracks we bounce that much on anyway.
“I don’t want to come to Spa or some of the later races where the track isn’t as smooth as a conventional racetrack and we didn’t do anything about it. There is all this talk about lobbying in both directions, but what are we talking about here anyway?”
The FIA will bring into force new rules to address porpoising concerns at the Belgian Grand Prix with a new minimum oscillation test. The governing body are also expected to raise the floors by a minimum of 25mm for next season’s regulations to help counter the issue.