(GMM) A camp is forming in the Formula 1 paddock among those who think the sport’s drivers should toughen up about ‘porpoising’.
Former driver David Coulthard, now a highly respected broadcaster, says he is from an era in which F1 drivers “take the pain” of their job in the cockpit.
“What I would say is if any driver feels uncomfortable, if any driver feels like he’s doing himself long-term damage – step aside,” said the Scot.
“There’s a whole bunch of guys and girls that would very happily step into your car if you feel uncomfortable.”
Many active drivers have spoken out against the bodily harms the ground effect cars may be having this year, but reigning world champion Max Verstappen certainly sides with Coulthard.
“There are a lot of sports out there where I think you damage your body in general,” the Dutchman said.
“I mean, once you retire from your career, you won’t be like you were when you were 20. That is simply how it is.”
1996 world champion Damon Hill insists: “All I can say is that when I was racing, nobody was interested.”
Alpha Tauri boss Franz Tost went a step further, telling German media that some current F1 drivers are “sissies”.
Former F1 driver Christian Danner told Servus TV: “I was tall in my day and never finished a grand prix without pain.
“I got to drive Lewis’ car a few years ago and nothing hurts you. It was like a Rolls Royce feeling.”
He also suspects that Lewis Hamilton’s post-Baku back pain was mainly theatrical.
“It’s all prearranged, and I thought the way he got out of the car was very theatrical.
“We used to have pre-loaded springs, no power steering, you changed gear by hand. After 300 kilometers you were completely exhausted,” Danner explained.