Lewis Hamilton talks about the pain he went through to finish fourth in F1 Azerbaijan GP, as Toto Wolff throws in a wild speculation for Montreal.
Fourth place in Baku on Sunday earned Lewis Hamilton 12 points and not just that but also the “Driver of the Day” award by the fans. It was a good result, but the seven-time world champion went through the pain barrier to earn it. Horrendous bouncing and vibrating caused the Brit painful back issues throughout the race, so much so that his result possibly felt like a win.
One more, the dreaded porpoising came to surface and Mercedes as a team have suffered more than most. For Hamilton, it was a task even before the grand prix when he complained of back issues. Post-race, he was seen getting out of the car slowly and walking in to get weighed in parc ferme.
“That’s the only thing, like biting down on my teeth through the pain and adrenaline,” said Hamilton to media. “I can’t express the pain that you would experience, particularly on the straight here. At the end you are just praying for it to end. We’re in such a good position here, like third and fourth is such a great result for the team”.
“The team did a great job with the strategy and once we fix this bouncing, we are going to be right there in the race. But we are losing for sure just over a second with the bouncing or at least a second with the bouncing. Like, I’ll be at the factory we’ve got to have some good discussions and keep pushing,” summed up Hamilton.
Elaborating more on the pain he went through in the race, Hamilton added: “Like, it was the worst race ever, one of the most painful, in fact probably the most painful race I’ve experienced and the toughest battle with the car I’ve experienced so I’m glad it is over”.
“We have this bouncing since the beginning and it hasn’t got any better really. Like we had one race where it wasn’t really bouncing so much but Kevin obviously hit us then. So, I don’t know what to expect in these next races but we have got to start making improvements.”
Following the race, his woes continued with the back pain issue and with Montreal next week, the worst case scenario would be for him to ruled out of the grand prix. Mercedes chief Wolff hinted on that possibility while talking to media, but even if he did, it will be a big step from Hamilton to miss a grand prix.
“Definitely, I haven’t seen him and I haven’t spoken to him afterwards,” said Wolff after the race. “But you can see this is not muscular anymore. I mean, this goes properly into the spine and can have some consequences. I don’t think this is only Lewis’ issue. I mean, he’s the one that is probably worst affected”.
“But generally, it also affects George and many others. So the solution could be to have someone on reserve which we anyway have at every race to make sure that our cars running,” summed up Wolff.
As soon as Wolff noted about this, the name of Nyck de Vries soon popped up considering he is the simulator driver alongside Stoffel Vandoorne. But as of now, it looks like a distant possibility considering that Hamilton wouldn’t miss a race unless it will harm him later in the season. There was another moment in the race when he also alluded to cold seat but Wolff at that moment failed to understand what his charge means.
“I don’t know what he meant,” said Wolff. “We had some theories: one was hopefully the fire extinguisher didn’t go off but….he’s he’s really bad. And we just got to find a solution. At that stage I think he is maybe the worst affected from all drivers. But pretty much everyone as far as I understood from the drivers said that something needs to happen, but I couldn’t give you an explanation what that is.”
Since the last message from Wolff, Hamilton has seemingly clarified that he isn’t to miss the race in Canada, taking to Instagram. “Yesterday was tough and had some troubles sleeping but have woken up feeling positive today,” he wrote. “Back is a little sore and bruised but nothing serious thankfully.
“I’ve had acupuncture and physio with Ang [Angela Cullen] and am on the way to my team to work with them on improving. We have to keep fighting. No time like the present to pull together and we will. I’ll be there this weekend, wouldn’t miss it for the world. Wishing everybody an amazing day and week,” summed up Hamilton.
Here’s how F1 Azerbaijan GP panned out