Lewis Hamilton has brushed off suggestions that he might avoid competing at the 2022 F1 Canadian GP later this week, following a painful outing in Baku last weekend.
In a statement posted on his social media page, the seven-time world champion wrote that he would “continue fighting” despite the team’s ongoing difficulties and the pain he endured at Baku. He stated:
“Yesterday was tough and I had some trouble sleeping, but I’ve woken up feeling positive today. We have to keep fighting. I’ll be there this weekend – I wouldn’t miss it for the world. Wishing everybody an amazing day and week.”
During the 2022 F1 Azerbaijan GP, Lewis Hamilton could be heard complaining over team radio about his car’s violent bouncing on Baku’s extremely long straights and claimed that the constant bouncing was “killing his back”.
Following the race, Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff apologized to his driver for having to drive under such conditions and promised quick fixes for the issue. Meanwhile, while talking to select media, Wolff also implied that Hamilton might take a break from racing due to back pain and might miss the Canadian GP.
Hamilton himself has rubbished those claims now, while giving an update on his health, having reportedly sustained bruises from the extreme vertical G-forces that he experienced during the race. He said:
“My back is a little sore and bruised but nothing serious, thankfully. I’ve had acupuncture and physiotherapy with Ang [Cullen, physio and trainer] and I’m on my way to my team to work with them on improving.”
Mercedes claims they pushed Lewis Hamilton “too far” in Baku
Mercedes chief strategist James Vowles has claimed that the team pushed the comfort of their drivers “too far” at the 2022 F1 Azerbaijan GP in search of performance. Vowles conceded that the ordeal that Lewis Hamilton went through during the race was “unacceptable” and that the team simply could not prioritize performance over driver safety.
The Briton said:
“Lewis [Hamilton] is an elite athlete that will push the bounds of endurance of himself and the car and that’s what Formula 1 drivers do. That’s what makes them exceptional. On this occasion though we pushed the package and our drivers too far. We are putting them in significant discomfort, and we simply can’t do that again.”
Lewis Hamilton has been instrumental in helping Mercedes sort out their issues this season, shouldering the responsibility of experimenting with the car to find solutions.
While younger teammate George Russell has followed a more conventional approach, Hamilton has often taken more risks in search of performance.
This approach may be helping the team learn more about the car and find solutions to their problems, but it certainly hasn’t helped Hamilton get better results on track. The Briton currently sits in P6 in the driver’s standings and trails his teammate by 36 points.