Mercedes seems to have solved its problems with ‘porpoising’.
As recently as Baku one month ago, Lewis Hamilton suffered extreme back pain as a result of the reigning champion’s 2022 struggles with the ground-effect phenomenon.
Many believe it was a trigger for the FIA’s subsequent clampdown, which has now been delayed until Spa-Francorchamps – after the August summer break.
In the meantime, Lewis Hamilton was back on the podium last weekend in Austria, although team boss Toto Wolff admits he was “not fast enough to really attack right at the front”.
“We’re still missing two or three tenths in terms of performance,” he told Sky Deutschland.
However, he admits that Mercedes has “got porpoising under control now”, with team technical director Mike Elliot announcing that car updates will now flow steadily at each grand prix.
“We would really like to be there in the fight that Ferrari and Red Bull are having at the front,” confirmed Wolff.
And the next race, at the silky smooth Paul Ricard circuit next weekend, could suit the Mercedes package even more than Austria.
“We expect them to be very quick there,” said Red Bull boss Christian Horner, whose Max Verstappen is leading the world championship.
“They’ve been very strong at the last two races and there hasn’t been any sign of porpoising at all. They seem to be slowly getting back into the game.”