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Max Verstappen Feels the Side Effects of Porpoising for the First Time in Imola Due to External Reasons

Mahim Suhalka

Max Verstappen Feels the Side Effects of Porpoising for the First Time in Imola Due to External Reasons

Despite all the shortcomings of the RB20, Max Verstappen started and finished the Emilia-Romagna GP in P1. The Dutch driver overcame his problems with sheer brilliance, but couldn’t help but feel the toll it took on his body.

Verstappen was a victim of porpoising in Imola, and his back was affected because of it. The RB20 had its problems, but none aerodynamically. However, the track mimicked the porpoising effect which he spoke about in the post-race press conference.

“I’m just broken from the bumps, to be honest. My back, everything is hurting. It’s not so much from the physical side of things, but just it was so bumpy out there. Already after like 20 laps, I could really feel my back. So I’m just looking forward to laying in bed. Maybe take some painkillers. And a massage.” 

Verstappen took part in the Virtual 24 Hours of Nurburgring the night before his F1 race in Imola, which could have contributed to his back pain. But it wasn’t due to him sitting on a chair for an extended period. Instead, the uneven layout and bumps on the Autodromo Enzo e Dino Ferrari caused his misery.

F1 drivers maintain peak physical fitness to deal with the demands of the sport, but their training cannot help them get used to bumpy roads, which in addition to causing back pain, can also be a safety issue.

Most of the F1 grid felt these porpoising effects (due to their cars) in the first season of ground-effect regulations two years ago, but not Red Bull. Now, Verstappen has an idea of how his counterparts feel. However, he wasn’t the only driver to feel the pain in Imola.

Lando Norris sides with Max Verstappen after Imola race

On the back of his first F1 win, Lando Norris saw an opportunity to make it two wins in two towards the closing stages of the Emilia Romagna GP. However, he was just short of his goal and had to settle for P2.

In his pursuit of Verstappen, Norris pushed hard. And like Verstappen, he too, felt the after-effects of the uneven Imola track.

The 24-year-old quickly bent down for a stretch before starting his post-race interview. The confused interviewer asked the Brit, “Is that a stretch?” In his defense, he replied, “I’ve got so many back issues.”

By saying the same, Norris confirms the physical toll the race took on the drivers. Norris and Verstappen in particular, got the worst out of it, because of their intense battle in the last stint.

Norris was just 0.7 seconds behind Verstappen in the closing stages. But despite this excitement, the focus shifted to the poor quality of the surface – not a good look for such a legendary track.

Post Edited By:Somin Bhattacharjee

About the author

Mahim Suhalka

Mahim Suhalka

Mahim Suhalka is an F1 journalist at the SportsRush. With an ever-growing love for the sport since 2019, he became a part of the industry two years ago and since then has written over 2200 pieces. A Lewis Hamilton fan through and through and with Hamilton's loyalties shifting to Ferrari, so will his. Apart from F1, he is a Football fanatic having played the sport and represented his state in various tournaments as he still stays in touch with the sport. Always a sports enthusiast Mahim is now translating his passion into words.

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