Lewis Hamilton refuses to let controversial end to 2021 season ‘define’ his career
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Sky F1 reporter Ted Kravitz has insisted that Lewis Hamilton and his fellow F1 drivers may have to wear ‘teeth guards’ due to issues with the new cars. All 10 teams have had the opportunity to try out their new cars for the first time during this week’s pre-season testing in Catalunya, Barcelona.
Am issue that emerged as testing got underway in Barcelona was porpoising, a stall in the downforce that has come about by a ground effect which cause the cars to bounce up and down after reaching a certain speed on the straight lines.
One of the teams most affected by this was Mercedes, and George Russell said that while he “didn’t experience it too much”, it was “not very pleasant at all” to feel in the cockpit.
“I think you can see some quite substantial issues with the cars in the straights with the bottoming,” the 24-year-old said.
“So this is a compromise we need to find to go quickest around the lap. It’s something I don’t think any team has experienced before. We’re seeing some interesting things out there.
“From what I’ve seen of other teams in particular, it would be a safety concern, so that does need to be sorted one way or another.”
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And commenting on the issue further, Sky F1 reporter Kravtiz explained: “I prefer to call it bouncing because it’s just bouncing along. It’s a problem.
“If it continues, the cars will literally shake themselves to pieces and won’t be able to finish the race.
“It is a reliability issue. It needs to be fixed. Ferrari already cut holes in their floor to stop them going along bouncing.”
He then added that safety measures will need to be taken if this issue was to become persistent.
“It’s not good for the car, not good for the driver. Drivers might actually have to wear teeth guards so they don’t chip their teeth if it carries on,” the Sky Sports pit lane reporter continued.
“The drivers don’t want it, the teams don’t want it and the aerodynamicists haven’t seen it.
“The last time we had it was 40 years ago when these ground effect cars were last in operation. The aerodynamicists weren’t around the last time we had this in the late 70s.”
Meanwhile, no team truly knows how their winter development went, as new technical rules saw everyone go back to the drawing board and start from scratch.
Aerodynamically, many of the cars look vastly different to others, showing that teams have interpreted the new rules in different ways – but none are aware of who currently has the upper hand.
McLaren driver Daniel Ricciardo, who enjoyed productive testing sessions in Spain, claimed he does not know who has the fastest car right now.
“It’s hard to quantify who’s ahead at the moment,” explained the Australian.
“I think I speak for all the drivers, testing you just really don’t know what everyone is doing.”
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