Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, Monaco, 2022

New bouncing problem “like 100 bumps in just one straight” for Hamilton

2022 Monaco Grand Prix

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Lewis Hamilton says his Mercedes have encountered a new kind of bouncing they need to fix in practice for the Monaco Grand Prix.

But although he was only 12th-quickest in second practice, Hamilton’s team mate George Russell set the sixth-fastest time, and the world champion can see potential in his car.

“I just didn’t get to put great laps together,” said Hamilton. “A good sector one and two’s almost there and then three wasn’t there. I think the best laps of the day were really like P1, the first few laps.

“We’ll study the data, we’ll try and figure out how we can improve the bumps and really hope for a better day together. It feels like the car’s almost got the potential to be almost up there with the guys but there’s all these things that are just kind of hindering.”

Hamilton complained about the discomfort he experienced due to bumping at several times during practice. He said afterwards the track felt “the bumpiest the track’s ever been.”

“It’s probably the bumpiest track I’ve ever driven,” Hamilton explained. “So that makes it difficult but [also] just generally our car bounces a lot.”

While Mercedes said they had successfully addressed their porpoising problems at last week’s Spanish Grand Prix, Hamilton says they have encountered a different kind of bouncing around the unusually slow Monaco track.

“It’s different bouncing to what we’ve experienced in the past,” said Hamilton. “It’s a lower speed also but it’s not aero, I think it’s just the bumps on the track are making it worse.

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“But otherwise it’s not really having to learn the track different it’s just fighting the car. To put a lap together is, wow, holy crap, it’s a lot different. I don’t remember experiencing it like that before.”

He said the track felt like “the bumpiest rollercoaster ride at the moment.”

“I think the locking I was having through the car is on the ground, on the deck. So we’re going to have to figure out how to get around that with the set-up. And then down the straights there’s some bigger hits.

“It’s different to when we were having bouncing, hitting – it is bouncing but it’s a different kind of feel. It’s like 100 bumps in just one straight. I don’t know how it is for the others, whether or not they’re experiencing the same as us.”

Hamilton believes part of the bouncing problem is caused by the sheer weight of the cars. The minimum weight has risen to almost 800 kilograms this year, and some teams have not been able to build their cars to that level.

“I remember back in the day, my first years here, just a light, nimble car, going around was so much better,” he said. “But now we have these super-heavy cars, they’re heavier than ever before, braking zones are different. It’s crazy that in 2022 the tracks aren’t as smoother when they’ve been resurfaced. Technology is still against us.

“But as I said putting a lap together is difficult. I think we made some improvements going into that session. It doesn’t even feel like, when you try to put a lap together, the grip doesn’t feel terrible, it’s just like your eyeballs are coming out of the socket.

“So we’ve got some work to do overnight to try to do that, as anticipated. I didn’t think we would be as quick as the Ferraris and the Red Bulls, our battle is trying to stay ahead of the McLarens I think.”

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Keith Collantine
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18 comments on “New bouncing problem “like 100 bumps in just one straight” for Hamilton”

  1. I think Rosberg and Davidson kind of hit the nail on the head on Sky. Their solution to the porpoising involves stiffening the car right up and that allows them to run it lower. The new tyres have less give due to the smaller side-walls so if you run your car very stiff at a bumpy street circuit, you’re going to get a lot of bouncing.

    They’ll potentially have to soften everything up for Hamilton but that’ll cost them pace as they’ll have to run the car higher. I haven’t seen Russell complain too much about it and he seems reasonably fast so maybe he doesn’t mind as much….

    1. I wouldn’t mind active suspensions, would be a relatively easy fix for them. Don’t know how it would affect the weight though.

  2. If Mercedes are really testing different setups on Russell and Hamilton, they are really making the job difficult for the drivers.

    1. @krichelle For some reason, Lewis always deals with way more porpoising. It probably has to with him preferring softer suspension setups to attack the curbs. On his onboard, you could actually hear his car banging the floor like a drilling compressor.

      1. I’d say the opposite, Ham wants the fastest car possible, the fastest merc rides poorly. Back when Mansell returned to Williams he forced the team to run the softest springs they could find, it proved to be the right solution, it has been a while since teams have had to compromise in this area, that said even the merc looked pretty decent onboard, maybe the cameras don’t take these bumps or drivers are not used to how rough ride used to be.

        1. This seems to be the case. Soft setup gives decent to good pace and tyre management as seen with Hamilton at Spain, stiff setup can give a faster lap but tyre temp window and wear goes to hell and ride quality gets harsh.

  3. If George’s car isn’t bumping so badly why not give Lewis’s car the identical set up?

  4. StevenHolmes
    27th May 2022, 18:59

    What’s wrong with everybody?? These next gen cars are flirting with human disaster. The porpusing effect that results in excessive head shaking is likely to create late in life disorders simply because the human head isn’t designed to handle long term the violence being done in the cranium.
    I suggest Formula One cancel it’s season TODAY until the issues with the new cars is solved. This next gen car as a whole is showing potentially previously unknown health issues. Recall DragRacer great John Force had to completely redesign how the human torso fits inside the funny car that killed his teammate through excessive violent repetitive shaking. His death reported as having his brain liquified from shaking.
    I’ve seen enough next gen cars come to race and most benefitted from changes then. But this car seen at Monaco today had two drivers say it’s a new vibration different than last weekend and it’s shaking their eyeballs out of their head.

    Ever hear a driver say that?

    Cancel F1 today before real bad stuff arrives

    1. If it is that bad for them then it is up to Mercedes to pull out to protect them until they have sorted their car.
      Why should the rest of the teams suffer for the Merc issues?

  5. Dont worry, Toto will be along shortly to assure everyone it’s the car, not the driver.

    1. well, the driver is proven through multiple wins on multiple seasons. What about the car?

      1. True, but never with a car like this. Now that he has the third best car, he’s as successful as any driver would be.

  6. Jockey Ewing
    27th May 2022, 19:06

    Luckily there are not too many straights at Monaco.

    1. Jockey Ewing
      27th May 2022, 19:29

      On the other hand, I would allow some active-suspension-like technology to help them, to have a more comfortable car.
      I think, technology evolved a lot at the last decades, so it would be much safer (less error prone, more fail-safe) than many would consider. I mean we are living in an age were Messi and CR litereally unable to score against a robo-goalkeeper, where cars are actually driving themselves, etc.

      I think it, and many other things should be included under the umbrella of the cost cap. I mean, not just should be included, but should be included with acceptance from the participants. Planning your own season well is some kind of challenge, not participating is some kind of drama. Are we not lacking on some excitement? This would provide occasionally.

      I was happy to see Alonso’s penalty for the chicane cutting at the last race. Not because I do not like him. I liked it because, if an authority does not dare to create a precedent, then that is not an authority anymore. Yes, not every cut is the same. There are/were cuts and not-so-nice rejoins, that can decide races, despite of not really being punished previously. I think an authority is an authority, because it dares to apply the rules (for the sake of the spirit of the rules), and not shackled by the letter of the rules. So I mean, that is “nice” to have this strong will of manufacturers currently in F1, but maybe I could enjoy it more without that. Poor Williams, looks like they are still an indie or a C team. They have made a step, but it was not yet enough, I hoped for more. Although maybe the aero development percentages will create some convergence.

    2. Jockey Ewing
      27th May 2022, 19:38

      Plus: Despite I would allow an active-suspension-like device agains the porpoising, I like the idea of having stiffer cars, so for example I do not really mind the stiffness the new tyres introduced. A bit of more specatacle, a bit of more challenge, before the computer will do everything. Going modern, being like the road cars at any costs, and remaining a very very entertaining race series is a hard to solve problem, if solvable at all. I would choose punting the road relevancy, and the manufacturer will :)

  7. Russell seems more willing to shake his internals to be fast than Hamilton.

  8. Electroball76
    28th May 2022, 1:08

    The new M-AMG W13 Perform has a unique contoured shape and 6 types of vibration.

  9. @Dex did you not watch last weeks race? Lewis in this same car…. Driver of the day. Need i say more. How many drivers do you know won a race on 3 wheels? TWICE!! I can think of only 1 driver. Sir Lewis Hamilton.

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