BARCELONA, May 19 (Reuters) – Ferrari’s Carlos Sainz raised questions on Thursday about the long-term health implications of Formula One’s latest generation of cars.
The Spaniard said he was feeling the pain of having to race with a stiffer suspension to counter the bouncing, or ‘porpoising’, that some teams are experiencing due to aerodynamic rules introduced this season.
Asked at the Spanish Grand Prix how the cars might handle around Monaco next week, Sainz called for a broader debate.
“More than Monaco … it’s how much of a toll a driver should be paying for his back and his health in a Formula One career with this kind of car philosophy?,” he told reporters. “I think we need to open the debate more than anything.
“I think the 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?
Sainz, who came into Formula One in 2015 and has started 145 races, said he felt the change.
“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.”
Lando Norris, Sainz’s former team mate at McLaren, was less sympathetic.
“I would have thought you’d have much worse effects from crashing a car at 50 or 60G like some of us have done, ” said the Briton, whose car bounces less than others.
“There’s also many ways for them to stop porpoising. Like lifting your rear ride height 20mm,” added Norris, knowing that would also negatively affect speed and performance.
Reporting by Alan Baldwin, editing by Ken Ferris
Formula One F1 – Spanish Grand Prix – Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya, Barcelona, Spain – May 19, 2022 Ferrari’s Carlos Sainz Jr. ahead of the Spanish Grand Prix REUTERS/Nacho Doce