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McLaren confident porpoising won't be a talking point "after first five or six races"

McLaren confident porpoising won't be a talking point "after first five or six races"

F1 News

McLaren confident porpoising won't be a talking point "after first five or six races"

McLaren confident porpoising won't be a talking point "after first five or six races"
Sam Hall & Topher Smith

McLaren technical director James Key believes porpoising will stop becoming a talking point "after the first five or six races" as teams seek to get on top of the phenomenon recently witnessed in F1 testing.

Due to the characteristics of the latest ground-effect cars, a number have suffered from bouncing along the straights due to the aerodynamic airflow under the floor.

Key has explained how porpoising is caused by a combination of car setup and the aero surfaces of the car and believes solutions will be found.

"What we found is that you can have a combination of things which kind of promote it, then you can back out of that.," said Key.

"As you'd expect more often than not, promoting it is theoretically the right way to go with the setup or aero development, then you find it's kicking it off a bit more.

"So I think there's something to learn and I'm sure it's something everyone will get on top of.

"It's a topic because it's very visible but ultimately there will be solutions there between the setup and aero development where you discover how to manage it.

"I wouldn't have thought it would be much of a talking point after the first five or six races.

Problem will not go away completely

Despite teams working to solve the porpoising problem, Key has claimed that due to the ground-effect nature of the cars, the issue will never be completely solved but further work will ease matters.

"There are always going to be a bit of inherent ground proximity reactions like that as they're ground-effect cars," added Key.

"The ride-height sensitivity, as we can see looking at the end of the straight, everything is on the ground.

"It's far more sensitive to that. It's inherent and that's why we're seeing it now. I think we'll learn to manage it.

"If we go the way in which we generate the downforce and how it looks with your ride-height map, the ride-height rubbing, the mechanical setups we might use to try and adapt to avoid that, the difficult regions with updated ways of setting up, all of those things will materialise as we go along and there's an awful lot to find on these cars and a huge amount to learn.

"I don't think the phenomena will be eradicated as it's a physical thing, but in terms of managing it, it could be significantly less of an issue and talking point after a little bit of development work."

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