Porpoising and other issues

This year has been an eventful one for the new generation of F1 cars. They have proved to give a more competitive edge and produce a rather exciting experience for viewers, by providing more overtaking opportunities and closer racing.

But, and it’s a big but, the new cars have proven to be more complex to work with, especially in terms of weight shedding. This factor has been a monumental headache and the FIA changed the minimum weight requirement twice after almost all teams never managed to get close to the first number. Aston Martin and Mclaren have both resorted to very drastic measures to mitigate the heavy weight issues, which include shedding paint and scrapping vinyl from the body.

Another massive issue for all teams has been porpoising, a term you have been hearing for some time but not everyone understands. It is the bouncing around you see some cars suffering from in the straight lines and is not actually related to a suspension issue, but rather the vortexes created beneath the car’s floor. The air flow passing beneath the car should be pulling the car towards the ground to create more road holding and less drag. However vortexes of air are currently being created under the car pushing the car upwards hence creating the bouncing motion.

F1 Testing: The return of 'porpoising' – what is it? – Motorsport Week

This year we also saw the introduction of new fuel which is heavier on ethanol and seems to be causing some problems for some. Only a handful of teams (particularly Ferrari-powered ones) have perfected the use of this fuel leaving others struggling. Mercedes particularly have a long way to perfect their new car and engine system, and all Mercedes powered teams are being dragged down the grid in a painful manner.

Apart from these issues, Mclaren have been struggling with the braking system, particularly the front ones perhaps an issue attributed with the overall heavier body which puts extra strain on the braking system.

McLaren evolve their F1 livery ahead of Bahrain test · RaceFans

All in all these new generation cars have been a headache for most of the teams and are performing very differently to the virtual simulators. The grid has been turned upside down and upset a hefty number of fans. The teething issues cannot be fixed quickly and easily, and this pain will be long term. I predict some improvements will be seen in the first quarter of the season and perhaps we will see the pace gaps closing in the second half of the season.

Until then, we just have to sob as we watch some of the teams fighting at the bottom of the grid rather than the mid-field.

Best Im A Sobbing Mess GIFs | Gfycat