Lewis Hamilton has said he will be at the Canadian Grand Prix this weekend and “would not miss it for the world,” despite enduring severe back pain at Sunday’s Azerbaijan Grand Prix.
The seven-time world champion described Baku as “the toughest race” of his career after suffering more bouncing issues, with Mercedes fearing he might not be fit to race in Canada.
“Yesterday was tough and I had some trouble sleeping, but I’ve woken up feeling positive today,” Hamilton said in a social media post on Monday.
“My back is a little sore and bruised but nothing serious thankfully.”
“I’ve had acupuncture and physiotherapy and I’m on my way to my team to work with them on improving.
“We have to keep fighting. I’ll be there this weekend — I wouldn’t miss it for the world.”
Hamilton concluded fourth in Baku, after starting seventh in a race where both Ferrari drivers retired, and later told reporters it was “the most painful race” he had experienced.
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Team boss Toto Wolff recognized the situation raised concerns.
“He’s really bad,” the Austrian told reporters. “We’ve just got to find a solution… I think he is maybe the worst affected from all drivers.”
“I haven’t seen him and I haven’t spoken to him afterwards, but you can see this is not muscular anymore.
“I mean, this goes properly into the spine and it can have some consequences.”
Hamilton, who clutched his back as he clambered out of the car, likened the experience to enduring a four minute cryotherapy session and said he just focused on all the people counting on him to score points.
Teammate George Russell, who finished third, warned on Saturday that it was only a matter of time before the ‘porpoising’ problem caused a major accident.
“I don’t really know what the future holds but I don’t think we can sustain this for three years or however long these regulations are in force for,” he said.
Red Bull boss Christian Horner, whose drivers finished one-two with world champion Max Verstappen leading Sergio Perez, suggested rivals might be over-playing the problems to secure a favorable rule change on safety grounds.
“I’d tell them to bitch as much as they could and make as big an issue out of it as they possibly could,” he said when asked what he would tell his drivers if they suffered from similar bouncing.
“It’s part of the game. It’s like somebody going into a penalty box.
“You can see it’s uncomfortable but there are remedies to that. But it is to the detriment of the car performance. So the easiest thing to do is to then complain from a safety point of view,” he added.
Raising the car’s ride height would remove much of the bouncing but that would also negatively impact on performance.
Champions Mercedes have been struggling more than most with the bouncing as teams come to terms with sweeping new regulations.
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