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Ferrari - porpoising problem underestimated by most F1 teams

Ferrari - porpoising problem underestimated by most F1 teams

Ferrari - porpoising problem underestimated by most F1 teams

Ferrari - porpoising problem underestimated by most F1 teams
Ian Parkes & Topher Smith

Ferrari team principal Mattia Binotto believes most F1 teams underestimated the problem surrounding the porpoising phenomenon witnessed in pre-season testing so far.

Footage from last month's three-day test in Barcelona showed Charles Leclerc, most notably, bouncing along the straight caused by the ground effect that comes with the new aerodynamic regulations.

With teams looking for solutions to the problem ahead of the second test that starts in Bahrain on Thursday, Binotto does not believe there is an easy fix.

“I think most of us, at least, underestimated the problem," said Binotto. "By the time we were on track we were certainly bouncing more than we expected.

“We certainly knew, with the ground-effect situation, that it was going to be different. It is a learning process.

"Solving it can be quite straightforward, optimising the performance because it should not be a compromise but trying to avoid the bouncing by getting the most out of the car, that could be a less-easy exercise.

“I’m pretty sure that at some stage, each team will get to the solution. How long will it take? I think the ones that get there sooner will have an advantage at the start of the season.”

Problem related to previous ground-effect era

Ground effect is not new to F1 as it was first seen on the Lotus 78 driven by Mario Andretti and Gunnar Nilsson in 1977.

When asked if the porpoising was caused by similar issues to that of the first ground-effect era, Binotto assessed the differences in today's cars.

“I was too young to know!" he joked before adding: "Honestly, the cars are quite different but it is related to the ground effect and how powerful it is.

"I think the rest of the cars were slightly different but certainly it is very similar.

“The frequency of the cars that are bouncing is the natural frequency of the car itself and I think it is excited by the aero and is as simple as that.”

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