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Mercedes porpoising labelled "aggressive" as Red Bull understand problems

Mercedes porpoising labelled "aggressive" as Red Bull understand problems

F1 News

Mercedes porpoising labelled "aggressive" as Red Bull understand problems

Mercedes porpoising labelled "aggressive" as Red Bull understand problems

Christian Horner believes Red Bull has started to understand the porpoising issues that have affected teams up and down the F1 grid.

But after two troubled practice sessions for Mercedes ahead of the Bahrain Grand Prix, the Red Bull team principal has labelled the issues of his rivals with the phenomenon as "aggressive".

F1's new regulations have reintroduced ground-effect aerodynamics into the sport but with that has come the vicious bouncing of the cars in a straight line as airflow stalls underneath the car.

Mercedes, in particular, struggled, with Lewis Hamilton undergoing extensive set-up changes on his W13 ahead of the second session to try and eradicate the problems.

Asked if Red Bull was experiencing porpoising as along the lines of Mercedes, Horner told Sky Sports F1: "I think to a lesser degree. Theirs looks particularly aggressive.

"But the guys have done a good job. We had a fair amount of it in Barcelona but we have started to understand it and get on top of it."

Assessing his own team's day, Horner said: "It has been a positive day for us really, both in the warmer conditions earlier and in the last session, the short-runs, the long-runs, both looked pretty decent.

"But, of course, fuel loads and engine modes, there are so many caveats but we are pretty satisfied with today's running."

Verstappen expecting Mercedes comeback

Max Verstappen set his sights on the perfect start to the season with the fastest time of the day in second practice.

The Dutchman was followed by the Ferraris of Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz, with the former just 0.087secs adrift, while George Russell was sixth-tenths-of-a-second adrift and Hamilton 1.2s down.

Asked if he was surprised by Mercedes apparent lack of pace, he insisted: "No, not yet.

"We will have to wait and see tomorrow when everyone is turning their engines up really how much is in there."

On his own fortunes in practice, Verstappen added: "It felt really good. We've been testing here so overall you are in a better window to start with.

"We tried a few things on the car and they all seemed to be working well. Straightforward and smooth day so I'm really happy with that.

"It felt really good on both short and long runs, basically whatever happens in the short run you try to then correct in the long run but the car was doing all of it. Very pleased.

"But you can see Ferrari is pushing hard, they're very close so that's very exciting as well.

"We will have to wait and see with engine modes tomorrow as well from all the teams to really see where we're at."

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