Lewis Hamilton was holding his back in agony as he got out of his car after driving it to fourth place in the Azerbaijan Grand Prix, and could be a doubt for the Canada race next weekend
Image: Sky Sports F1)
Lewis Hamilton is a doubt for next weekend’s Canadian Grand Prix over the back pain caused by his porposing Mercedes, Toto Wolff has admitted.
The Briton was in clear agony as he clambered out of his car at the end of the race in Azerbaijan on Sunday. Before heading to be weighed by the FIA, as is the usual procedure after a race, he took the time to sit on his Mercedes and hold his back, such was the pain he felt.
It has been caused by a race weekend which has seen his car hit by a porpoising problem worse than ever before. The W13 car was bouncing more than ever along the Baku street circuit’s long and bumpy main straight, leaving Hamilton’s back in bits as a result.
Still, he managed to drive through the pain and steer his car to a fourth-placed finish, just behind team-mate George Russell in what was a brilliant result for Mercedes. After the race, Wolff contacted Hamilton over the radio to say: “This is a bit of a s***box to drive. And sorry for the back problems.”
“Well done guys,” was Hamilton’s immediate reply, commenting on the result. And well done on the strategy. Thank you on continuing to push.” After returning to the paddock to fulfil his media duties, he revealed: “The only thing was biting down my teeth with pain and just adrenaline.
“I cannot express the pain you experience, especially on the straight here. In the end you are just praying for it to end. We are in such a good position still in 3rd and 4th. It is a great result and the team did well with the strategy. Once we fix this bouncing we will be right in the race because we are losing for sure a second just with bouncing.”
Sky Sports F1)
Asked if Hamilton was now a doubt for next weekend’s race in Montreal, Wolff admitted to Sky Sports F1: “Yeah definitely. You can see that it is not muscular, it goes properly deep into the spine and there are some consequences. The solution could be to have someone on reserve, which we do at any race.”
Even before the race itself, the Austrian had voiced his concern for the Briton’s health after he had been left sore by practice earlier in the weekend. “It’s based on physical pain. It’s really compressing the spine,” he said. “I think that most of the drivers have now come to the conclusion that it’s really bad.”