The disruption of the aerodynamics of the single-seaters, in this 2022, is so far having a more evident effect than the others, at least as regards the top teams: the collapse of the Mercedes, dominant until last year of the hybrid era, with 15 titles out of 16 won in eight years, and the two-way challenge between Red Bull and Ferrari. Brackley’s team has not yet fully mastered the bizarre W13, which is driving George Russell and especially seven-time world champion Lewis Hamilton crazy. The huge problem of silver arrows is that of porpoising. The vertical hopping of the car at high speeds has put several other teams in trouble, but none are suffering as much as the reigning constructor champion team.
In Canada, the first track where the new technical directive imposed by the FIA will come into force precisely to try to limit this dangerous phenomenon, James Allison tried to explain the reasons for the Mercedes crisis and above all his opinion on the problem of porpoising and on the type of intervention implemented by the FIA and long claimed by the Anglo-German team. “I think it is positive that the FIA recognizes that it is not a happy situation where the lap time and the health of the drivers are in sharp conflict with each other – commented the Mercedes manager – this is useful if it is recognized. We are willing to work constructively with them and with others ”.
Regarding the vertical hopping of the W13 Allison admitted some design errors, but also pointing the finger ‘at’ the wind tunnels: “What did we go wrong? I wish I could answer this question, because if we had the answer we would have fixed it by now. If we knew what was wrong and we would have already diagnosed the procedure to fix it. It is clear that we have not noticed the porpoising problem. The rules are actually quite restrictive. In the wind tunnel you can only move at 30 mm / s, which is much less than what you see on the track. Therefore, the wind tunnel is not a useful environment to anticipate or solve this problem. If CFD instruments are not focused on this type of behavior, then when you realize you have fallen into a hole you have to reinvent them ”.
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