David Coulthard believes that any F1 driver who is worried about the physical side effects of porpoising should “step aside”.
The issue has continued to spark debate recently, particularly in light of the FIA’s decision to intervene by announcing – ahead of the Canadian Grand Prix – the introduction of a technical directive, aimed at reducing or eliminating the problem.
Following new technical regulations being brought into effect for the 2022 season – which ultimately led to the phenomenon, due to the cars being more ground effect-based – Coulthard thinks that it is perhaps down to the teams to interpret these in the right way.
How each team interprets new rules differently
“[It’s about] the way you actually understand those rules,” Coulthard told media, including RacingNews365.com, in reference to the changing technical regulations.
“Adrian Newey is someone I’ve worked with since my Williams days, and he always used to say [that] he reads the rules to see what they say, but more importantly, what they don’t say.
“And what they don’t say is where he designs, hoping for the loophole that gives him an advantage. Because it makes sense, doesn’t it? If you only ever designed to this size and fits in that box, then how are you really ever going to outperform your competitors?
“So like [in] other years, when they brought in grooved tyres, or when we went to narrow track cars, there’s a constant evolution, there’s constant technical delegate updates.”
As such, Coulthard can understand why some teams have raised concerns about porpoising more than others.
“Those that are struggling more, of course, are going to be more vocal than those that are getting results,” he continued.
“Everyone [designing] got the same set of technical regulations handed to them.
“I’ve been in a situation where I’ve had the advantage of my team doing a better job, and I’ve been on the other side where the team didn’t do such a good job and you take the pain, whether it’s through your lower back.”
Coulthard: Any driver who feels uncomfortable should step aside
Various drivers have spoken about the physical side effects that they have experienced as a result of their car porpoising or bouncing, but Coulthard believes that those who are overly worried should reconsider their place in the sport.
“If any driver feels uncomfortable, if any driver feels he’s doing himself long-term damage – step aside,” said the former F1 driver, who has also been involved in the development of W Series since the category was formed.
“There’s a whole bunch of guys and girls that would very happily step into your car if you feel uncomfortable.
“I think we have to keep in perspective that sport doesn’t come with ‘Princess and the Pea’ mattresses. If you’re a boxer, you have to accept someone’s going to punch you in the face. If you’re a footballer, someone’s going to drag their studs down the back of your legs.
“My girlfriend used to play for the Swedish national team, and she’s got marks on her legs because as a captain, as a striker, she was getting taken out of matches!
“So I think we have to keep in perspective a little bit that this is where certain teams are, and there’ll be evolution, but for the most part, just get on with it.”
Watch the fourth race of the 2022 W Series season live from Silverstone on Sky Sports and Channel 4 on Saturday 2 July.