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As Formula One returns to the Baku street circuit for the eighth race of the season, it does so after Mercedes’ problems with ‘porpoising’ resurfaced at the Monaco Grand Prix last time out.
Hamilton and Russell had been lifted by their performance in Barcelona but the bouncing of the Mercedes car appeared to be worse than ever around the streets of Monte Carlo, with the surface of the circuit adding to their problems with the car’s aerodynamics.
And now according to former F1 driver Marc Surer, Mercedes are set to experience the same issues in Azerbaijan. “You have to drive this stiff suspension to stop the ‘porpoising’,” Surer told Formel.de. “That means the car is sprung so hard that it doesn’t start bouncing on the straights.
“They obviously got that under control to some extent. But now, of course, they’re losing with this tough set-up in the corners. And Baku is just a street circuit - it also goes up and down a bit and there are bumps there. I can’t imagine that the Mercedes will do great there.”
Hamilton is sixth in the driver standings after a tough start to the campaign, with Russell fourth on his debut season with the team. Looking ahead to the Azerbaijan Grand Prix after Monaco, Hamilton said: “I’m praying the car doesn’t feel like it does here.
“This was the worst in this car so far because of the potholes. I’m looking forward to it going away – just my teeth, my jaw moving all the time. I’m done shaking. I don’t know if it’s the porpoising. I hope it’s not what we had in the last race, so I want it to not be a problem. But if there are potholes, then in the corners we can have them.”