sport news The Mail on Sunday travels to Silverstone to experience the impact of G-force ... trends now

sport news The Mail on Sunday travels to Silverstone to experience the impact of G-force ... trends now
sport news The Mail on Sunday travels to Silverstone to experience the impact of G-force ... trends now

sport news The Mail on Sunday travels to Silverstone to experience the impact of G-force ... trends now

Lewis Hamilton claims he has shrunk an inch. He’s getting more headaches than usual. After his race in Baku, the seven-time world champion clambered out of his Mercedes car so tentatively it looked like he may collapse like a discarded marionette.

All of this due to the effects of porpoising, the phenomenon of cars bouncing along the track that has become so brutal this season that Formula One’s governing body has stepped in to try to fix it.

Hamilton revealed the vicious jarring puts 10G of force – 10 times the force of gravity – up and down his back.

Seven-time champion Lewis Hamilton has only finished in the top three once this season

Seven-time champion Lewis Hamilton has only finished in the top three once this season 

The Mail on Sunday visited Silverstone this week to experience the impact of g-force on the body.

Sat on a weights bench inside the Porsche Human Performance lab, this aching, sweaty reporter had a harness strapped to his head while a sports scientist pulled on its elastic cords to increase the force pulsing through my neck as I tried to stop my head flinging to the other side of the room.

By the next morning, it did not matter which way my neck moved. Any position other than perfectly still, head up, eyes straight ahead and the muscles stiffened, clenched towards the shoulders like angry fists. It was like wearing an invisible neck brace.

We only reached 4G. The maximum g-force that F1 drivers usually endure around the harshest corners is 6G, six times the weight of your head and helmet.

 Imagine, for a moment, that your head is no longer your head but actually an overweight Labrador called Charlie, who darts after balls in any direction and your neck must now support all of 80 pounds of his weight. Our 4G force was roughly the weight of a Border Collie.

Mercedes have won eight consecutive Constructors' Championships between 2014 and 2020

Mercedes have won eight consecutive Constructors' Championships between 2014 and 2020

The forces now going up and down Hamilton’s back are said to be 10G. His Mercedes team-mate George Russell said recently that it was ‘only a matter of time’ before porpoising caused a major accident. The FIA, motor racing’s governing body, are now changing regulations due to concerns over driver safety.

‘Concentration has to be 100 per cent,’ says Jack Wilson, sports scientist at Porsche Human Performance. ‘If you throw severe back pain into the mix on top of all the other stresses an F1 driver has to contend with, that’s going to be eating away at the back of your mind — how many more laps have I got to go, how am I going to manage this. All of these things occupy brain power. 

The more you are putting into that, the less power you’re putting into thinking about how the car is doing, managing the tyres, controlling the gap between you and the driver behind. It’s another layer of difficulty. What can be done to help that? You could say, okay, we’ll try to make our drivers strong and robust but when you’re going at that level of g-force load, at that frequency, and for that duration, it’s difficult to make your driver bulletproof.’

As part of The Mail on Sunday’s visit, courtesy of Precision

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