Mercedes: What’s gone wrong at the F1 and can they recover?
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Max Verstappen has teased Lewis Hamilton over the Mercedes porpoising issues ahead of the Canadian Grand Prix. The hilarious exchange came as Hamilton revealed he had spent time before Montreal playing old racing games on a console he bought ahead of the weekend.
However, Verstappen took the opportunity to ask the seven-time champion whether there was “any porpoising issues” in the game as he made light of Mercedes’ dire situation. The comment provoked a simple response from Hamilton who was sitting just metres from the world champion in yesterday’s drivers’ press conference.
Hamilton said: “I just had this itch to play old games. I’ve just recently bought an old Nintendo 64. Actually, no, I didn’t but it, I found it in my storage. And then I went and got Golden Eye. And then when I landed I went to get Mario Kart, but they didn’t have the Nintendo 64. So I bought a Sega Megadrive, a Sega Genesis, sorry, and then they had the Senna game there.
“So I was like, ‘Oh, this is perfect’. So I’ve been spending the last couple of nights driving the Senna game, but I’m not that quick on it.” Verstappen responded: “Any porpoising issues on the game?
Hamilton quickly replied: “No, no porpoising.” Mercedes have struggled with their porpoising issues all season, with Hamilton openly complaining of back pain during the Azerbaijan Grand Prix.
The FIA have stepped in for this weekend with a short-term fix designed to stop team’s pushing their cars too low to the ground to the determinant of drivers’ health. However, Hamilton and Verstappen both disagree on the need for regulation changes to battle porpoising.
The Mercedes star said it was “positive that the FIA are working towards improving” the issue as safety was “the most important thing”. However, Verstappen argued against the new rules, claiming he believes rule changes in the middle of the season were wrong.
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He explained: “If you raise your car, you will have less issues anyway. But of course, naturally think ourselves but also the team, you know, you’re going to try to find the limit of what you can cope with, your body itself, for performance.
“But I don’t think it’s correct that now they have to intervene and start applying these kind of rules that if you can’t deal with the porpoising that you have to go up on ride height, because it is very simple: just go up on ride height and you won’t have these issues.”
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