July 6, 2022

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Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, Baku Street Circuit, 2022

Mercedes back-up plan ‘solution’ for Canada in case Hamilton is unable to drive RaceFans

Mercedes will ensure they are prepared for the possibility that Lewis Hamilton will not be able to compete over the weekend at next week’s Canadian Grand Prix.

Hamilton said he was in excruciating pain during today’s Azerbaijan Grand Prix due to the porpoise in his car and its downing throughout the race. He called it “the most painful race I’ve ever had.”

Wolff said his driver’s condition was clearly worse than just muscle aches. He said, “I didn’t see him and didn’t talk to him after that, but you can see that’s not my muscle anymore. I mean, that goes right into the spine and can have some consequences.”

Training for the next race is scheduled to begin at Gilles Villeneuve in five days. Wolff said the team would be prepared for the possibility that neither Hamilton nor his teammate George Russell would be able to drive.

“I don’t think this is just a Lewis case,” he said. “It’s probably the most affected person. But overall, it also affects George and many other people.

“So the solution could be to have someone on reserve, which we have anyway at every race, to make sure our cars run.”

Hamilton has not missed a race since he tested positive for Covid-19 ahead of the Sakhir Grand Prix in 2020. All teams are required to run junior drivers in at least two training sessions during the season. Mercedes could take advantage of the opportunity to do so in first practice, to extend Hamilton’s recovery time.

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Showroom: 2022 Azerbaijan Grand Prix in pictures

Wolff apologized to Hamilton over the radio after the race. “I know this is some kind of driving bullshit,” he said, “sorry about that.”

He then admitted that his driver was in “very bad” condition after the race. “We just have to find a solution at this point,” Wolf said. “I think it is probably our drivers who are most affected.

“But pretty much everyone, to my understanding from the drivers, said something had to happen. But I couldn’t give you an explanation of what it was.”

In Baku, the problem of porpoises – jumping up and down quickly – was exacerbated by their exit from the bottom – colliding with the circle – on the bumpy track. “They are very closely related,” Wolff agreed. “We’ve seen trails where we don’t have sea pigs and then we turn and then some cars go down to the bottom.

“So it’s not really clear. The obvious thing is [that] It’s all related to the aerodynamic performance of the floor.”

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2022 Azerbaijan Grand Prix

Browse all articles for the 2022 Azerbaijan Grand Prix