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Lando Norris calls for car improvements amidst physical toll on F1 drivers

Lando Norris is not just pushing the limits on the track but is also raising concerns about the toll the current generation of F1 cars is taking on drivers' bodies.

The 2022 technical regulations reintroduced ground effect, inadvertently causing severe bouncing issues along straights and affecting multiple teams.

While the mechanical bouncing and aerodynamic porpoising problems have largely been addressed, the cars still sport stiff suspension settings to generate peak downforce by running as close to the ground as possible. This setup has triggered health concerns, notably during the 2022 season's early stages and more recently in Saudi Arabia when Carlos Sainz had to miss the race due to appendicitis.

Sainz's case adds to the list, following Williams' Alex Albon missing the 2022 Italian Grand Prix with a similar condition. Albon expressed interest in exploring a potential link between porpoising and lap belts affecting driver health.

In a recent media interaction, McLaren driver Norris refrained from making assumptions but emphasized the need for improvement: "Could it be better, and was it better a few years ago with the old cars? 100 per cent."

Norris acknowledged that while drivers often complain about various issues, well-being behind the wheel should not be overlooked. He stressed, "There are areas to improve on, it does need to be improved a little bit because the teams just make the quickest cars, and then we drive them."

Despite improvements in addressing porpoising, Norris highlighted ongoing challenges: "It takes a toll on you. I still struggle a lot with my body and back and all of these things. I have to do a lot now, which I didn't have to do a few years ago."

The young driver, contemplating a long career in F1, called for long-term improvements to align with past standards.

As the Australian Grand Prix approaches on the weekend of 22-24 March, the 5.278km Albert Park semi-street circuit awaits, presenting a demanding challenge for drivers navigating bumps and adapting to ever-changing grip levels. 

As F1 enthusiasts gear up for the third race of the season, the call for car improvements adds a compelling layer to the excitement on the track.

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