George Russell reveals head trauma fears over 'porpoising’

·2 min read
Mercedes driver George Russell head trauma fears over 'porpoising’ - GETTY IMAGES
Mercedes driver George Russell head trauma fears over 'porpoising’ - GETTY IMAGES

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Mercedes’ George Russell has again spoken out on the physical effects of ‘porpoising’, likening it to footballers from the Sixties and Seventies heading heavy footballs.

Russell was in action for practice for this weekend’s Spanish Grand Prix, and raised concerns over the impact of the high-speed oscillation that some cars are experiencing this season.

"When you are travelling at 200mph on the straight, and you are smashing up and down on the ground, for sure you wouldn't choose to have it that way," Russell, said.

"The cars are extremely rigid and they are not meant to be a comfortable ride.

"You could compare it to the footballers of the Sixties, Seventies and Eighties when they had the massively heavy footballs,” the Briton added.

"Research was done and analysis was done that there were health consequences for these chaps who headed the ball, and things were changed.

"Formula One is the centre of innovation and there is no reason why we cannot find a scientific solution for this."

Russell - who finished second in second practice in Barcelona on Friday - has previously complained about porpoising this season. The 24 year-old said at Imola that the W13’s issues with bouncing at high speed on the straights were “extreme”. Mercedes team-mate Lewis Hamilton also suffered, as seen below.

"The bouncing, it really takes your breath away. It's the most extreme I've ever felt it.”

Russell added that he was feeling chest-like and back pains that weekend and called the physical problems “unsustainable”.

On Thursday, Ferrari’s Carlos Sainz also questioned the 2022 cars’ design philosophy - aimed to create closer racing - if it came at a cost on the drivers’ bodies.

"I think the [new] regulations are great. They're doing exactly what we needed for racing. But do we need to run as stiff for our necks and back as we are having to run lately?

"I've done my usual checks on my back, neck tightness etc and I see this year I'm tighter everywhere.

"I'm already feeling it. I don't need expert advice to know that 10 years like this it's going to be tough, and you're going to need to work a lot in mobility, flexibility," he added.