Lewis Hamilton was in great difficulty during and after the Azerbaijan Formula 1 Grand Prix and suffered so much physically that Mercedes boss Toto Wolff suggested that his driver might not be able to compete in the next race in Canada. But the suspense surrounding his participation is now over.
The images surprised many fans and observers at the end of Sunday’s F1 Azerbaijan Grand Prix. Lewis Hamilton, who had just parked his car at the entrance to the pits, had a hard time getting out of his seat after finishing fourth in the race. The Mercedes driver took several long seconds to get out, unable to find sufficient strength to lean on his halo. The British driver needed the help of a member of his team to finally get out of his seat, and then stayed for a long time with his hands on his thighs to recover from the trying race he had just experienced.
During the 51 laps of the urban Baku circuit, the seven-time World Champion had to deal with the car’s porpoising, which has been a constant problem since the new Formula 1 regulations came into force this year. Unfortunately for him, his team had made a poor adjustment to his car, which only amplified the incessant bouncing and made it more violent. Hamilton even complained of being cold while driving at over 340km/h in the streets of the Azeri capital.
In short, the number 44 suffered greatly physically, even leading Toto Wolff, the boss of the Mercedes team, to suggest the idea of a potential withdrawal of his driver during the Canadian Grand Prix, which will take place this Sunday on the Gilles-Villeneuve circuit. But the mystery surrounding Lewis’s participation in Montreal has now been lifted. James Vowles, the German team’s director of strategy, announced the news:
“I’m pleased to say that Lewis was here this morning at the factory. I spent a few hours with him and he is fine. He’ll be back in the car in Montreal,” he said, before adding:
“He’s an elite athlete who will push the limits of his endurance and the endurance of the car. That’s what Formula One drivers do, that’s what makes them exceptional.”
Currently sixth in the World Drivers’ Championship with 62 points from eight races, Lewis Hamilton will be in Canada. A country that the former McLaren driver particularly appreciates, as he has already won seven times during his career. But given the average performance of the Silver Arrows this season, there is little chance that the 37-year-old will stand on the top step of the podium for an eighth time this weekend.