Franz Tost says F1 drivers should quit if they can’t handle the pain


  • F1 has a “porpoise” problem, where cars start to bounce when they hit high speeds.
  • The issue has become a safety issue as drivers suffer from back injuries.
  • AlphaTauri team principal Franz Tost says those drivers should go home if they can’t drive the F1 cars.

Formula One has a rebound problem that is giving drivers back pain, but not everyone is convinced it is a safety issue.

“Porpoise”, where Formula One cars begin to bounce as they reach their highest speeds, has affected most teams to varying degrees this season. However, the FIA ​​was forced to get involved after the Azerbaijan Grand Prix, when drivers spoke out more about back injuries.


Scuderia AlphaTauri team principal Franz Tost was asked about the FIA ​​technical directive in which they committed to collecting data and reducing the porpoise. Tost said the changes weren’t necessary because everyone knew the new cars would be uncomfortable.

“It was clear from the start onward that these [new] the cars won’t be easy to drive,” Tost said ahead of the Canadian Grand Prix. “The cars need to be set up quite stiff… Now, the drivers are complaining about that. On the one hand, I can understand; it’s not that easy for them. On the other hand, this is a Formula One car. And I remember when the winged cars were outside, a driver came to me on Sunday night and said, ‘Tomorrow, I have to go to the dentist because I lose feeling because the cars are very difficult to drive’. It’s nothing new”.

Tost went on to suggest that if the cars are too uncomfortable for the drivers, maybe they shouldn’t be in F1.

“Pilots need to train their neck muscles and gluteus maximus more, so this helps for sure,” Tost said, later adding: “How much [the porpoising] it can be controlled, I don’t know yet… But this is a Formula One car. This is not a Rolls Royce. And drivers need to be aware of this. And if the cars are too stiff, or it’s too hard for them, maybe they should stay home, in the living room, sit in the chair, and then they can do the racing on TV or wherever. I dont know.”

The FIA ​​was forced to intervene when drivers began to injure themselves

Porpoise problems reached a new level at the Azerbaijan Grand Prix, where the street circuit is already bumpy and normally sees some of the highest speeds of the year on F1’s longest straight this season. Several complained of back pain, and Lewis Hamilton was seen struggling to get out of his car, raising some concern that he could be forced to miss the upcoming race in Montreal.

Lewis Hamilton

Lewis Hamilton struggles to get out of his car after the Azerbaijan Grand Prix.

Bryn Lennon – Formula 1/Formula 1 via Getty Images

Although he didn’t miss the Canadian GP, ​​Hamilton spoke about how badly the Azerbaijan GP affected him.

“That was the worst race ever,” Hamilton said. “Probably the most painful race I’ve ever experienced and the toughest battle with the car I’ve ever experienced as well. I’m glad it’s over.”

At the moment the FIA ​​is collecting and analyzing data, and it is not yet clear how they will implement the mid-season changes.

One option is to force teams like Mercedes to raise the height of the cars, which would reduce bounce but also reduce their speed. However, other teams that have already resolved the porpoise issue are concerned that the FIA ​​will force changes on everyone, which could be more advantageous to drivers who are still struggling with it.

Christian Horner, the team principal of AlphaTauri’s sister team Red Bull, has expressed his wish that other teams such as Mercedes will have to make adjustments.

“You have the option of driving your car, don’t you?” Horner said before the race in Baku. “You should never drive an unsafe car… So it would seem unfair to penalize those who have done a decent job versus those who may have missed the mark.”

Tost clearly agrees with Horner that they shouldn’t be forced to change.