Hamilton chose the Baku ‘bouncing’ car setup

Following the 2022 Formula One Azerbaijan GP the row over the current car design regulations is hotting up. Following the race Lewis Hamilton was seen struggling for over a minute to extract himself from his car such was the back pain he allegedly suffered during the race.

The Sky F1 anchor Natalie Pinkerton focused on this issue for most of the Sky F1 post race show, asking each driver how they felt about the bouncing nature of the current F1 cars.

An irritated Toto Wolff told Sky F1’s Karen Chandhok, “I think we need to do something on the regulations, because he [Hamilton] can’t move”

The Mercedes boss then suggested that the team had other drivers in the wings to replace Lewis in this weekend’s Canadian GP implying there was a possibility Hamilton was too ‘injured’ to drive the W13 car again in 5 days time.

Monday’s Sky F1 edition of “Any Driven Monday” asked IndyCar driver Danika Patrick her opinion on Hamilton’s apparent poor physical state at the end of the Baku race and she questioned whether Lewis Hamilton was in fact being disingenuous and ‘acting up’ for the cameras.

“For Lewis, the question is did he feel that bad? Is that the reality of what the car did to him or is he making it seem worse than it really is for the purpose of getting a rules change?”

Mercedes are lobbying for changes in the FIA car design regulations. Clearly they will not effect that for this season, but as Toto pointed out these rules are fundamentally the same for the next three years.

It would of course be easier for Mercedes to get the FIA to enforce regulation changes if they can couch them as necessary for driver safety as Patrick observed.

“It’s a political game and if they’re lobbying in  some way for rule changes to happen there you want to highlight the reasons that needs to happen”



The current Mercedes W13 problems are different from the ‘porpoising’ they experienced in the first four races of the season. This aerodynamic problem was fixed with the upgrades the Brackley team brought to the Spanish GP.

In fact Paul di Resta repeated regularly on commentary in Baku that Mercedes are in fact choosing to run the car super low – much lower than the Red Bull’s – to make the W13 car faster

Danika Patrick believes there was evidence that Hamilton is part of the decision making process that sets the car up to be quick – but bounce.

“Is it a matter of choosing speed over comfort? Is that why Lewis wasn’t so hard on them [the team] for the way that he felt [at the end of the race] because it’s a choice he was part of making.”

The ex-IndyCar racer also points out that, “Toto is in charge of figuring out how to go fast and have it not hurt their body and he’s aware of that.”

So it really isn’t an issue for the FIA. It’s for Mercedes to design a better car and in the meantime make the decision over a fast car  or their drivers welfare.

READ MORE: Horner accuses Hamilton of playing games

6 responses to “Hamilton chose the Baku ‘bouncing’ car setup

  1. It seems the experts should be questioning the suitability of the bouncing car to drivers’ health, rather than if the driver’s complaints about pain suffered were to make his physical condition seem worse. You hotshot critics should take a ride is the faulty bouncing cars drivers must use this season for 51 laps and see how it feels.

    • Really!! You design qn f1 car, within the regulations and develop accordingly. Mercedes have come up with a sub standard car, and choose (Mercedes) discomfort for performance. Tune the suspension, raise the ride height and no pain for Hamilton and Russell. No gain either, they will languish at back of field, which Mercedes cannot accept, and are sacrificing the drivers for performance. Horrible cynical complaints by Russell and Hamilton, 3rd and 4th, but oh the pain. If Russell does not start to consider his statements and attitude, teams will think twice about his alignment within the sport. Sad to see such a politician commencing his career.

  2. But merc are CHOOSING to drive with a car that has a lower rake, and then complaining about it.

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