Russell Confirms Return of ‘Bouncing’ Issue” With Mercedes W15

George Russell has disclosed that the Mercedes W15 is once again contending with the issue of “bouncing,” a setback that afflicted the team in the past.

Mercedes encountered significant challenges due to the porpoising phenomenon during the 2022 season, characterized by a bouncing sensation caused by the introduction of new ground effect cars.

The team was compelled to address this issue urgently after Lewis Hamilton faced difficulties exiting his Mercedes cockpit during the 2022 Azerbaijan Grand Prix, owing to the intensity of the bouncing and its adverse effects on his physical well-being.

Despite making advancements with their 2024 F1 car, incorporating several noteworthy innovations in the front suspension and front wing, Mercedes acknowledges that there is still room for improvement.

Russell said to the media; “I would say this year’s car is a totally different race car.

“To the point that the things we learned from last year in the way we were setting the car up, we will need to approach it differently this year. So, there’s a lot to learn about this.

“It feels much closer to how a race car should feel. But the one area that we need to continue to work on is probably the bouncing that we’re seeing. We got caught up with a bit of bouncing last week.

“We were pushing the car really aggressively. But as I said, we’re dealing with a totally different beast this year, whereas 2022, 2023 they were both cut from the same cloth.”

Up to this point, Mercedes has received encouraging signs, as Russell has characterized the 2024 challenger as having a promising feel “like a race car”.

He continued; “Yeah, 100 per cent from what we’ve seen so far. Obviously, it’s one circuit, we’ve only had one and a half days each.

“Maybe we’ll have a surprise when we go to Jeddah next week but I’m confident that this is much more… it feels more like a race car. And I think we can now afford to be more aggressive with the setup, we can be more aggressive with the mapping of the car and where we put the downforce on.

“It felt like in the last two years, everything we did was a bit of a plaster that never solved the underlying issue that the car faced. And I think for the first time in two years, we feel like the numbers are backing that up.

“We saw all of the issues we had when we went back through the data W14 and the W13 had. And we’re definitely much more confident this is more of a race car.

“But there’s only one thing that matters is how quickly it goes around the track, and right now it’s not quick enough.”