It seems like a major issue of 2022 Formula 1 cars is porpoising but what is more interesting is, how have Red Bull and Ferrari managed to overcome this problem, and what have they done differently from Mercedes who are still struggling with this?


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The current theory is that this is a fundamental problem with the "no sidepods" design that Mercedes have pioneered this season - namely, it leaves much more of the floor exposed compared to the more conventional designs of Red Bull and Ferrari. That exposed floor is then flexing due to the aerodynamic loads being placed on it, and this is what triggers the porpoising.

As explained by Autosport, Red Bull and Ferrari have also been able to mitigate the flexing by using "stays" - metal rods hidden in the sidepod that attach to the floor and help support it. Because Mercedes' sidepods are so minimal, they can't use these internal stays, and only one pair of external stays are permitted - not enough to prevent the flexing.

As per BBC Sport:

Mercedes' problems are caused by their car's floor. It is flexing in an uncontrolled way, and this is triggering the aerodynamic instability - "porpoising" or bouncing - that is forcing them to run it in a set-up they don't want to, to keep it under some form of control.


Questions are being asked about the overall concept of Mercedes' car. It is dramatically different from the rest, with pared-back sidepods and much more exposed upper floor area at the rear than any other car.

Many outside the team suspect this is the root of the problem and that Mercedes will have to abandon it for next year.

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