Mercedes team boss Toto Wolff has made a sensational claim that Lewis Hamilton could be left with brain damage by his porpoising Mercedes.
Hamilton and his teammate George Russell have been experiencing severe bouncing whilst driving their cars on track all season. As a result, the team find themselves well off the pace of championship rivals Red Bull and Ferrari.
However, things are beginning to improve as they have managed to close the gap after racing on “smoother tracks”, with Hamilton recording podium finishes in the last five races, whilst Russell continued his fine run of finishing in the top five in all races that he has completed.
Since the new regulations came into play at the start of the 2022 season, porpoising became a major issue for the majority of the grid.
Despite their improvements, Wolff still feels the issue is not safe for the drivers.
He said: “I still believe that the FIA and all of us must do something about it.
“Frequencies of 1 to 1 hertz that last for a few minutes can cause brain damage. We have 6 to 7 hertz for several hours.”
Formula One is currently in its mid season break, and when the action returns for the Belgian Grand Prix, new rule changes are set to be introduced.
The changes from the sport’s governing body, the FIA, should lead to porpoising being reduced and could close what some see as loopholes within the new regulations.
Whilst most teams welcome the changes, the likes of Red Bull and Ferrari are not so keen, as they could potentially lose their huge speed advantage.
Red Bull boss Christian Horner stated that he is not happy with the incoming rule changes and said that he “didn’t see any issues” regarding porpoising in the last few races.
Wolff however, has hit back at Horner’s claims.
He said: “That [argument] doesn't count because Silverstone, Paul Ricard and Austria aren't exactly tracks we bounce that much on anyway.
“I don't want to come to Spa or some of the later races where the track isn't as smooth as a conventional racetrack and we didn't do anything about it.
“There is all this talk about lobbying in both directions, but what are we talking about here anyway?”
According to reports, further rule changes are set to be introduced in the 2023 season to raise the floors of the cars.
Horner showed his discontent over the potential tweaks.
He said: “So I think there just needs to be a common-sense solution, not rewriting the rulebook for next year at a point of the year, with budget caps where they are, which is just too late.
“I think it’s actually an even bigger issue for some of the smaller teams that quite simply wouldn’t have the resources to be able to react.”
After taking victory at the Hungarian Grand Prix, defending champion Max Verstappen heads into the summer break with a healthy lead of 80 points over his closer challenger, Charles Leclerc.
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