The Ferrari F1-75 was bouncing away at Albert Park, but Charles Leclerc says it did not bother him that much.
‘Porpoising’ has been an early topic for discussion at the start of the new era in Formula 1 with ground-effect cars, this bouncing seemingly impacting some teams more than others.
Mercedes’ George Russell in particular feels the phenomenon is costing his team a big chunk of performance.
At the Australian Grand Prix though, the Mercedes drivers had a rival in the headbanging with Leclerc and Carlos Sainz enduring a rough ride as the F1-75 bounced its way down the straights at Albert Park.
But unlike Mercedes, it did not do their performance any harm, far from it in fact as Leclerc went on to dominate in Australia with a grand slam of pole position, fastest lap and leading every lap to win.
Ferrari are concerned by the bouncing and will look to address it with the introduction of floor upgrades, but Leclerc revealed that actually he did not feel hindered by it.
“I don’t know why, but I’m not very sensitive to it,” he said, quoted by Motorsport-Total.com.
“Of course I feel it. But it doesn’t bother me too much in terms of performance, only in Turn 9 maybe a little bit.
“I wouldn’t have been able to go any faster if I hadn’t had the bouncing.
“On the restart it was a bit difficult because I had it before Turn 1. That’s when you are not so sure on the brakes, but everything went well. But of course it’s not really comfortable to do 58 laps like that.”
That said, the Monegasque driver is fully aware Ferrari need to address the issue.
“It’s definitely something we want to tackle,” he confirmed.
“It doesn’t help us with consistency. Especially once you bounce in a corner, it can be a problem. So that’s something we need to work on.”
Although Ferrari team boss Mattia Binotto has said no major upgrades are coming for Imola as it is the first sprint qualifying weekend of the season, the team will nonetheless introduce some tweaks to try to tame the bouncing.
Binotto admits though it is not an easy issue to fix and is somewhat track-specific also.
“It’s something we are working on. We know it’s not completely solved yet,” he said.
“Maybe already at Imola we will try to mitigate it further if we can. But it is something we know is not fully solved yet. It’s not a surprise, it’s something that’s difficult to keep under control.
“There are races or track layouts where we suffer from it more than others, whatever the reasons. So when we came here (Melbourne), we knew since Friday it could have been a problem for this weekend as well.”