Wolff bluffing the FIA over Hamilton missing the next race

Lewis Hamilton claimed a creditable P4 at the 2022 Formula One Azerbaijan GP. Yet at the end of the race, the Mercedes driver was seen to be almost unable to drag himself from the cockpit of the W13. Hamilton had complained during the race over the radio, “this is killing my back”.

Toto Wolff had suggested prior to the race start that his world champion driver was suffering from extreme bouncing and may not be physically capable of finishing the race.

In the end, as Lewis made progress through the field from his starting position of P7, the notion he would retire was never to become reality.

Hamilton told Sky after the race, “There were a lot of moments where I didn’t know if I was going to make it. One, whether I was going to keep the car on track as on the high speed I nearly lost it several times. The battle with the car was intense. And the last 10 laps…”

Mercedes have been leading a polemic that the FIA need to change the design regulations for some weeks now, often using the fresh faced Russell to suggest the new cars are unsustainable.

Yet the power to ease Lewis back problems lie solely with Brackley. They run their 2022 car lower to the ground than either Red Bull and Ferrari and the bouncing is caused by the car hitting the track time and time again. The team could opt to raise the ride height, but this would be at the cost of performance.

Being a street circuit, the surface in Baku is not as even as those at purpose built race circuits. The Mercedes didn’t look so bad or cause Lewis the same problems when last on a dedicated race circuit in Spain.

In less than 5 full days, the F1 drivers and teams will take to the circuit again in Montreal. The bad news for Mercedes and Lewis is the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve is another street circuit with a bumpy track.

Such were the pictures of Lewis in agony in Parc Ferme in Baku, Toto Wolff was asked whether his star driver may not be able to take part next weekend in Canada. 

The Austrian replied, “Yes, definitely”. So the solution could be to have someone on reserve who we have any way at every race to make sure that our cars run.”

In reality, this appears to be all part of Mercedes efforts to get the FIA to look again at changing the car design regulations – something they have previously refused to do.

The threat of Formula One’s latest great competitors not competing in Canada is presumably designed to force the FIA’s hand.

Hamilton will be in the car on Friday, if only to prevent the possibility that a reserve driver performs so well with the bouncing car, that it jeopardises Lewis’ return to the cockpit until Mercedes have sorted their issues out.

READ MORE: Wolff says Hamilton is Mercedes ‘Guinea Pig’

18 responses to “Wolff bluffing the FIA over Hamilton missing the next race

  1. Several cars had bouncing/porpoising but I didn’t see anyone else appear to struggle to get out of their car, including George. This seems to be a case of Toto saying “we can’t get our car to suit the rules so lets try to change the rules”.

    • Judge, you judge well. To me it looked as if Ham was faking the difficulty – suits the fake chumpion.

      It is typical of Toto to want regulations changed to suit them and only them. He might even want the regulations changed to that of their 2015 car. The other teams should put their foot down and resist Toto’s efforts at manipulation. Now the evil genius will miss not having Masi around.

    • That’s as it is it’s sad to say. When a team has been used to controlling the rule makers this is what happens. Hamiltons charade was embarrassing. So manufactured. Mercedes know that raising their ride height will solve it but they have a dog of a car and are stuck with it so trying to raise all others to their car.

  2. I don’t know what Vijay is on about, but I totally agree with Toto wolf, this car design is dangerous for the drivers and Lewis was not the only driver who felt the pain from the bouncing, Lando Norris was also caught clutching his back on exit of the vehicle after the race so The FIA needs to relook into changing the car design to something that’s more comfortable for the drivers

    • Mercedes designed the car. If they run it higher poor little Lewis wouldn’t have such a bad back. You’re talking rubbish Mr. Tshaka, same rules for all teams!

    • I don’t see the Red Bull drivers complaining. Their car design is clearly better than Mercedes and Toto and his guru’s should go back and design a car that isn’t so difficult to drive.

    • So, the problem is only for one team for whom the problem is severe? What a joke? If you can’t dance properly it’s not because you don’t know how to dance its because the floor is uneven. This is the joke MERCEDES is propagating. What a farce??

      • I’m not saying you are wrong Mercedes really has the worst design but Lewis isn’t the only driver suffering, Lando Norris, k Mag, Mick and even stroll has been seen complaining about the bounce, if I’m not mistaken even Carlos Sainz Jr. of Ferrari said his car also bounces alot in turns which makes it very hard to control, red bull have made an absolute banger of a car and this is coming from a Lewis fan, but FIA does need to make some changes

    • Mr. Tshaka, I thank you for the temperate reply to my post devoid of the profanities of those who are insanely in love with Ham. They also write rubbish about Ham’s competitors. You recognize others’ freedom to differ with you. That shows your quality.

    • What I would like to know, who will be responsible if drivers suffer signs of brain damage 20 or 30 yrs from now and it is put down to the car design. Will the fia compensate the millions those affected might claim.

    • Mr Tshaka, LH is sn Actor and Wolf is the producer why the F… should the rules to be changed to make Merc happy. What about those that have been managing the porposing it would be extremly unfair if the FIA would listem to these jokers.

  3. Mr Wolf in sheep’s clothing… Go thru with your threat. Let Sir LH sit out. See who cares. Get another younger driver that can handle your car OR you have 5 or 6 days to sort out your bouncing car …

  4. Montreal is not a street circuit ? It’s a dedicated race track on the island at the city.

    • No not isn’t. It is used as public roads during the year – and is therefore a street circuit

      • But not regularly a la Monaco, Baku, Marina Bay, Albert Park, & future LV track, or proper public roads, so more like a park circuit that can be used for road car driving, cycling, walking, etc., when F1 isn’t in town.

  5. Where was Luis’ physiotherapist and he was hurting so bad? She does an excellent job holding his umbrella when raining, but not in sight today at the end of his race

    • Everybody has a view based on their perspective. Maybe we should all shut up and let the teams a
      nd FIA sort it out.

  6. Funny, when the halo was under discussion all drivers shouted how terrible it looked and safety was no issue. Now, they suddenly find safety the most important thing and is it the main reason to get rid of the bouncing. Bunch of hypocrites!

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