George Russell has explained how Mercedes can solve their early season problems. The Silver Arrows have struggled to find extra pace and are currently lagging behind rivals Ferrari and Mercedes, with Lewis Hamilton admitting his car is “undriveable” currently.
Russell fared far better than his teammate in Saudi Arabia, as he came home in fifth. The 23-year-old believes virtually all of Mercedes’ problems would be solved if they were able to eradicate porpoising, which has affected them since pre-season testing. “The faster you go the worse it (porpoising) gets, so it makes it harder for qualifying because we turn the engines up, maximum power, go quicker down the straight which causes more downforce and causes more porpoising,” Russell explained.
“So we almost need to pre-empt this issue and also in the race when you have the DRS closed, you have more downforce than you do with the DRS open, and that’s another factor we need to consider. We’re still learning and that’s why we’re far from optimal. But that’s why I said if we solve the porpoising, that would cure I would say 99% of our issues.
“We are going to start trying to develop the car around the issues but we need to solve the underlying problem, which is the porpoising.” Seven-time champion Hamilton endured a nightmare practice session on Friday, followed by his worst qualifying session since 2009, as he began Sunday’s Saudi Arabia GP in P15. He was able to climb up to 10th, but that is still a far cry from his blistering performances over the past number of years.