Guanyu Zhou, Alfa Romeo, Circuit de Catalunya, 2022

Porpoising problems will be gone “in two or three races” – Alfa Romeo

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In the round-up: Alfa Romeo’s technical director has said that F1 teams will quickly get the porpoising problem seen in Spain under control.

In brief

Alfa Romeo Barcelona issues can be fixed for Bahrain

Jan Monchaux, Alfa Romeo’s technical director, said that despite setting the fewest laps of any team during Barcelona testing, he was confident that the situation could be turned around by the time of the Sakhir test.

“It was [not] a secret that we had some bouncing issues at the beginning,” admitted Monchaux, “and it was true, I think, for everybody. And we had some mechanical issue on the second part of the test.

“We have to to fix it, I think it’s a challenge but I’m quite confident that we’ll be able to do it for next week.”

Monchaux said that Alfa Romeo would be able to make use of a filming day for some additional checks and that “for Bahrain, I think that will be on the right way.”

He added that he didn’t believe the porpoising issues all teams had been having would persist far into the Formula 1 season, “it’s always the case with new regulations, you have new issues coming in. I think in two or three races, nobody will speak again about bouncing, we will have another issue or topic to discuss, but we have to fix it.

“We saw that on our side and for the other teams that everybody met big improvements over the first three days and we’ll come back next week. All the teams with a new configuration to fix it completely.”

Sandstorm limits final day of Formula 2 testing

Felipe Drugovich set the fastest time during Friday’s Formula 2 test with a 1’44.911 around Sakhir. He was almost a second clear of second-fastest driver Clement Novalak, who ran a 1’45.883.

Both times were significantly slower than previous day’s best as only the slower, hotter morning session ran due to a sandstorm arriving in the afternoon and thus the dusk session being cancelled, after Formula 3 had struggled to run in the start of the storm.

Hadjar tops Formula 3 times for second day running

Isack Hadjar went fastest in today’s F3 running, setting a 1’47.247 for Hitech during the morning session, before a sandstorm heavily disrupted the afternoon running. A complete rookie to Formula 3 for 2022, Hadjar was fifth in last year’s Formula Regional European Championship.

He was also the fastest driver during Thursday’s uninterrupted running, setting a 1’47.516.

Crypto organisation brands W Series team

W Series has announced the CortDAO team, with Fabienne Wohlwend as its first confirmed driver. The team is made up of a group of crypto backers that have formed a decentralized autonomous organization to, in theory, lead the team. Another confirmed team, Quantfury, is also crypto-associated, as a financial exchange.

Veloce, the 2021 champions with Jamie Chadwick, have not been confirmed as a team for 2022.

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Comment of the day

After the Russian Grand Prix contract was terminated this week, Kimberley Barrass asks if this could spell a potential end to the national anthem ceremony at the start of a grand prix, too?

Does this mean we can get rid of the jingoistic national anthem and dignitaries at the start of the race now? This was introduced as a clause in the original Russian contract – something that no one else had – which was quickly normalised by doing it everywhere.

I can’t stand it. It was always about sportswashing with Russia, and I’m sure a lot of other countries we go to jumped on board for geo-political reasons. This is right across the board – the US (and that dreadful – introducing the drivers rubbish they did once) as well as others.

While I’m on a rant – When we go somewhere to race – I want to know the history of the circuit and how good it is – I couldn’t care less about which country it is in and wish we’d stop talking about it in our coverage generally.

It’s why I know Le Mans, Bathurst, Laguna Seca, etc – despite the fact F1 doesn’t go there, and it’s why I love COTA (this looked like it was going to be good from when they were building the track – as it obviously was no Tilke clone) and think Baku is pretty darn good as well. Singapore has had a couple of good races too – but tends to be because of madness rather than the scintillating track.

Sort it out F1!
Kimberley Barrass

Happy birthday!

Happy birthday to Idr, Jarred Walmsley, Tommyb, Jake and James!

On this day in motorsport

  • 45 years ago today Tom Pryce and marshal Frikkie Jansen van Vuuren lost their lives in a shocking crash during the South African Grand Prix

Author information

Hazel Southwell
Hazel is a motorsport and automotive journalist with a particular interest in hybrid systems, electrification, batteries and new fuel technologies....

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15 comments on “Porpoising problems will be gone “in two or three races” – Alfa Romeo”

  1. I’m curious how porpoising will be fixed – if it’s all in suspension setup, or what. I’d thought that maybe some small channels in the floor surface could keep enough airflow that you can’t stall the car even at minimum ride height, but I’m not an aero guy. :D Really looking forward to the first race. I imagine it’ll be chaos.

    re: Russia – I’m glad F1 is rid of Ecclestone. What a f’ing loony, ethics-free clown.

    1. RandomMallard
      5th March 2022, 7:49

      @helava As someone who is also very much not an aerodynamicist, so don’t take my word as anything particularly useful, I would have thought one way to solve it may be to have a few holes in the floor that allow the pressure to seep out slowly, to avoid it reaching the point where it stalls. This would also lead to a reduction in downforce (I think, again, I’m not an aero engineer), so would have to be managed carefully to find the right balance. It depends how much you can gain by not porpoising compared to how much time you would lose with slightly lower downforce around the corners. This is just speculation though.

      1. @RandomMallard

        They lose a large amount of downforce for a while, which is why the car lifts up. So sacrificing a bit of downforce to prevent that would be a good tradeoff.

    2. The Race on YouTube released a video showing how they think McLaren are dealing with it – apparently much less affected by the issue than other teams, and able to run higher off the road to avoid the bottoming out that both damages the floor and stalls the underfloor aero.
      I think it is well worth a watch. In essence, they suggest McLaren have much more energised air vortices running along the side of the floor acting as a sort of skirt to seal the air under the car.

  2. I miss Bernie, always no nonsense, straight thinker even at his age.

    There are so many things being agreed by the world about this conflict between Russian and Ukraine. But I don’t think anybody has really thought it through, or got their heads around it.

    “If there is a Russian driver in F1, what does it have to do with Russia fighting a war? There is no relationship there.

    “The Russian athletes have nothing to do with this conflict. They are not part of it, and they have never been part of it. They just happen to be Russian.”

    Been saying this for a week.

    1. @peartree This is a joke, right? Bernie — a straight thinker? That duplicitous little greed-weasel?

    2. @peartree I kind of get where you’re coming from – what good does it do to punish individual athletes, like the paralympians – but it’s very difficult to draw the line. Allowing things to go on as normal looks and feels like appeasement. On the other hand, most of the sanctions being applied appear to punish Russian citizens rather than its leaders, which is presumably meant to put domestic pressure on Putin, but that will take ages and it does nothing to halt the current conflict. There is also the potential that indiscriminately banning Russians from sports and culture (a film festival recently dropped two Russian films) is interpreted as just the kind of Western prejudice Putin has been banging on about. It might actually strengthen his popularity.

      1. @frood19 However, there wouldn’t be a display of what you are referring to as ‘Western prejudice’ if Putin wasn’t the murderous dictator that he is, illegally and violently invading Ukraine. And yes of course he is going to try to turn the tables, at least to those he can control and brainwash through media censorship etc, into thinking it is Western democracies that are the aggressors while he is the innocent bystander. Yes the sanctions might strengthen his popularity to those who are already being mislead. The point of ‘punishing’ individual athletes is to send a message to those people who still have enough free thinking within them, such that they’ll ask why. What has changed for Mazepin that he was able to race last year and not this year? If it’s the takeover of Ukraine, why is the rest of the world upset about that? Why is my bank account frozen etc etc. Why is our money worth nothing right now? Maybe Putin has done the wrong thing?

        I think at a bare minimum the answer to ‘why punish individual athletes’ is that as individuals they still do represent their country by their nationality, and to not sanction them would mean sitting on one’s hands and just letting Putin and his cohort get away with it. Get away with athletes potentially achieving public sporting ‘glory’ while their country commits war atrocities against innocents.

        1. @robbie yeah, I think you’re right. Letting these athletes compete would allow Putin to claim their successes for his cause. So on balance it is probably worth the risk that it fuels his propaganda – though that is still a big concern.

          One thing I hadn’t considered before is that this kind of excommunication is a signal or warning for other countries. However, as I posted elsewhere, it rings a little hollow given how long F1 (and FIFA, the IOC etc) have been tolerating regimes like Russia’s. Sportswashing already did its job for them.

    3. The Russian athletes have nothing to do with this conflict. They are not part of it, and they have never been part of it. They just happen to be Russian.

      Except in this “sport” this russian competitors father who has a personal relationship with Putin is bank rolling a team.
      To say Mazepin has nothing to do with Putin and is just some random citizen from Russia is categorically incorrect.

      This isn’t the olympics where people come to compete supposedly free from money and politics. This is F1, where people are only able to compete due to money and politics.

  3. Crypto advertising is the new tobacco advertising. The sooner it is gone from our sport, the better.

  4. I also think porpoising issues will be gone sooner than later.

    National anthems have played for a while. Long before the inaugural Russian GP.
    The only difference is people on starting grids didn’t have to stop doing other things for the duration.
    I don’t have an issue with this, & even less so with trivialities about a given host country or specific location on each pre-session introduction phase.

  5. Re COTD, I completely agree. We always had the national anthem played before a GP, but it was only Russia’s insistence which caused it to become the massive deal it is today. We don’t need drivers lined up for our, we don’t need all the propaganda which has been associated with it. Just play it as a mark of respect to the host nation and move along!

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