Because even if Silvers are not the main opponents this year – the extreme rivalry and hostilities of 2021 are not yet forgotten. And the fact that Mercedes is now the absolute spokesman for a campaign that tries to force rule changes at the FIA due to the fact that car jumping, the so-called bouncing, endangers drivers’ health, solves Red Bull team manager Christian Horner, but also with some others in the pasture, already a mixture of ironic grin and anger.
“Mercedes made a bad car, they can not handle the problem – so now they are trying to get the rules changed to benefit themselves,” Horner argues. After the race, Mercedes team manager Toto Wolff, also given Lewis Hamilton’s massive back problems, said that at the driver review on Friday night, all drivers except Fernando Alonso were because something had to change. The topic was raised by Mercedes driver George Russell in his role as GPDA chairman.
But if you asked about the individual drivers, it sounded completely different. Some, like Pierre Gasly or Sebastian Vettel, tend to stand up to those who believe that something must happen. On the other hand, not everyone who has complained about problems, especially on the extremely uneven track in Baku, believes that the regulations should now be fundamentally changed. Secondly, it is noticeable that more and more complainers who generally do not get along well with the new cars. At Ferrari, for example, Charles Leclerc occasionally makes a comment that bouncing is “disruptive”, but the main spokesman on the subject is Carlos Sainz jr., Who unlike 2021 has ended up significantly behind his teammates this year.
In any case, the impression arises that the longer the season progresses, the more and more teams get a better idea of the problem. Aston Martin found a way to drive smoother with its B version. Red Bull does not affect rocking that much anyway. Helmut Marko says from the beginning: “It does not seriously affect our drivers.” Ferrari has a certain up and down movement in the vehicle, but can control it better and loses significantly less performance than Mercedes. Alfa Romeo had no bounce at all in Baku. Alpine can more or less turn it on and off. McLaren has it only to a small extent, Alpha Tauri has better control than at the beginning of the season, Haas manages by increasing the ground clearance, even if it means accepting a certain performance loss – and Williams simply has too little downforce, to even end up in these problems.
So there is only Mercedes left – and that is precisely why there are many sarcastic comments from competitors: “They should just drive higher.” Toto Wolff claims that even that would not work, as little as a softer voice: “We would like to do it, but the softest element in the car or the only high-speed damper is the tire. There is nothing more about the damping, just about tires. ” Counterattack by competitors: “Then it’s a problem for them – then they just have to change their concept.”
The FIA has not yet officially commented on the subject, but you can hear that they take it seriously and want information from the medical side as well as from other racing series, including the rally, and also want to talk to technical managers. But not even the drivers who hope for such changes do not think that there can be any rapid changes: “In that case, it will probably not be until next year”, says Pierre Gasly …