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McLaren convinced porpoising problem fixable ahead of new F1 season

McLaren convinced porpoising problem fixable ahead of new F1 season

F1 News

McLaren convinced porpoising problem fixable ahead of new F1 season

McLaren convinced porpoising problem fixable ahead of new F1 season
Sam Hall & Topher Smith

McLaren technical director James Key believes the porpoising phenomenon seen during pre-season testing is fixable ahead of the first race of the new F1 season.

Porpoising was one of the main talking points across the opening test in Barcelona last month, and clearly affected some teams more than others.

With the second test starting on Thursday in Bahrain, it remains to be seen what improvements the teams have been able to make over the intervening period.

Explaining how porpoising is a by-product of the ground-effect cars introduced via the new aerodynamic regulations that are extremely sensitive to ride height, Key said: "We've experienced a little bit of that.

"You get into an oscillation, which can even be set off by a bump, then you get this little instability down very low and the car comes up and picks up the downforce again.

"It's a factor of how these cars can work. It's not to say it's not fixable as there are elements of setup you can use to try and improve that."

Too early for McLaren to feel an advantage

Despite McLaren not suffering from porpoising as much as its rivals, Key believes it is too early to see it as an advantage.

As every team will have worked on solutions leading into Bahrain, Key added: "I suppose it helps if you're not suffering from it dramatically, in that you can have a bit more flexibility.

"There have been a few videos going around of cars really going off. I think the Ferrari was one, for example, but also on day one, it appeared to be the most stable car.

"So I guess everyone is finding the right place to be at the moment, whether it's an advantage or not I guess will play out as to how far you can push your setup or aero development."

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