Lewis Hamilton back pain from ‘porpoising’, doubt for Canadian GP

Jakarta (ANTARA) – Mercedes fears that Lewis Hamilton will not be fit to race in Canada next week after the seven-time world champion suffered severe back pain due to the ‘porpoising’ effect of his car during the Grand Azerbaijan Prize on Sunday.

The Briton finished P4 in Baku, having started from P7 in a race in which both Ferraris failed to finish due to technical issues.

Hamilton even got the most votes from the public as best driver that day, but a quick performance that day had consequences.

“He’s very bad,” Mercedes team boss Toto Wolff was quoted as saying by Reuters. “We have to find a solution… I think he’s probably the most affected of all the riders.”

When asked if there was a risk of losing Hamilton to Montreal, Wolff replied: “Yes, of course. I haven’t seen him and I haven’t spoken to him after that, but you can see that it is no longer a question of muscle.

“I mean, it affects the spine and can have a number of consequences.”

Hamilton, clutching his back as he got out of the car, compared his racing experience to spending four minutes on cryotherapy and said he focused on the people who rely on him to score points.

“Seeing online that a lot of people are worried about me and how bad I look on the outside. It means many, many of you getting attention,” Hamilton wrote on the networks. social.

“I would say that actually it looks bad and it’s 100 times worse. It will definitely take a bit of recovery and hard work with the team before Montreal to get over that hurdle.

“Nevertheless, I feel better and motivated to keep pushing. See you next week.”

His team-mate George Russell, who finished third, warned on Saturday of the dangers of “porpoising” for F1 drivers this season.

The phenomenon, in which cars bounce when traveling at high speed due to the up and down movement of aerodynamic handles, resembling the movement of dolphins swimming through water, emerged as a side effect of the massive regulatory change in This year.

The regulations state that current generation cars get most of the aerodynamic benefits from under their cars.

“I think it’s only a matter of time before we see a big event,” Russell said after qualifying for the Azerbaijan Grand Prix on Saturday.

“A lot of us couldn’t keep the car straight because of the bouncing, we went the last two corners at 300km/h, you can clearly see on the track how very close to the ground.

“I don’t know what the future holds, but I don’t think we can have this for three years or however long these regulations are in place,” Russell said.

Red Bull team boss Christian Horner, who tracked down the two drivers; Max Verstappen and Sergio Perez, who finished 1-2 in Baku, said rival teams had tried to raise the issue to make regulatory changes.

“You can see it’s uncomfortable, but there is a cure,” Horner said of “porpoising.” “But it has a negative effect on the performance of the car. So the easiest thing they can do is complain from a safety point of view.”

Raising the car can reduce the effect of kickback but will impact performance.

Mercedes, who have dominated for the past eight seasons, have been the team most affected by porpoising this year.

Lonnie Kimmons

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