Risk of injury from porpoising comparable to other sports

Max Verstappen says the risk of injury from porpoising is comparable to what competitors in other sports are exposed to.

Several Formula 1 drivers have said that the poor handling they have been suffering from this year, due to porpoising or stiffness in their set-ups, has significantly increased their discomfort inside the cars. Lewis Hamilton described the Azerbaijan Grand Prix as the most painful he had ever endured.

However, Verstappen pointed out that injuries are common in other sports and believes F1 drivers should be prepared to tolerate similar risks.

“There are a lot of sports where I think you damage your body in general,” he said. “Once you retire, you won’t be like 20, that’s how it is.

“Football players have knee problems, all kinds of injuries. Or when you’re a motocross or moto GP rider, the amount of bones they’ve broken in their body. You can always judge, ‘yeah is that the safest thing to do?’ No, but we are ready to take risks, it’s our sport, it’s what I like to do.

Verstappen acknowledged that the porpoising of the drivers he encountered was unpleasant, but pointed out that some teams could control it better than others.

“Of course the porpoising we have at the moment is not nice and I don’t think it’s right. But some teams are able to handle these things much better than others, so it’s possible to so I don’t think we should over-dramatize what’s going on right now.

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However, Hamilton insisted that the safety of competitors must be the sport’s overriding concern.

“I can’t emphasize more how important health is to us,” he said. “I think we have an incredible sport here, but safety has to be paramount, has to be the most important thing.”

He said he “definitely felt like I’m a bit smaller” after his killer run in Baku. “My records are definitely not at their best,” he added, “and that’s not good for longevity.

“There are things we can do to improve that for the riders here. We want to come in and do our job and put on a great show and race in the safest way and we don’t have to be injured.

“So I just think we just have to work very closely with the FIA ​​and not take things lightly, which I don’t think they are, and keep pushing.”

Daniel Ricciardo, who also complained about the grueling race he endured in Baku, revealed after Sunday’s Canadian Grand Prix that a problem with his car had exacerbated his discomfort in the previous race.

“After Baku I found out something broke, that’s why my rebound was really bad,” he explained.

“It was better today,” he added. “Before turn eight there are some big bumps which at the end of the race start to hurt you a bit but nothing crazy.

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