F1: Lewis Hamilton To Miss The 2022 Canadian GP? News Portal

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Mercedes-AMG F1 team boss Toto Wolff is concerned that Lewis Hamilton’s back issues caused by the aggressive bouncing of the W13 F1 car may result in him missing the Canadian GP the following weekend.


Lewis Hamilton struggled with back issues throughout the Baku race weekend.

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Lewis Hamilton struggled with back issues throughout the Baku race weekend.
Mercedes’ 2022 Formula 1 car – the W13 E-Performance – has been struggling with ‘bouncing’ issues right from the start of the season. Almost every team was reporting a problem which was termed ‘porpoising’ in the 1970s, and it essentially is the up and down movement of the car in high speeds on the straight sections, which is caused as a result of to the ‘ground effect aerodynamics’ reintroduced to Formula 1 this year after almost 4 decades. Most teams have found some solutions to this problem, but they have only managed to reduce the porpoising to a certain extent, and not iron it out completely. Ferrari’s solution to this problem has been the most effective, and even though the Scuderia Ferrari F1-75 car continues to bounce up and down on the straights, it spectacularly settles in the corners, thereby not dropping performance.

Also Read: F1: Ferrari To Address Porpoising With Imola Update

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Scuderia Ferrari F1-75 is a class ahead of its rivals when it comes to composure in corners.

Also Read: F1: Ferrari Power Fails In Baku As Red Bull Trounces To Verstappen Led 1-2

Though these solutions might give teams the performance they need, they still don’t provide a comfortable ride to the F1 drivers, and while this issue is less pronounced at some tracks, it is very evident on some others. One such case was of the Baku City Circuit, where because of the bumpy nature of the street track the F1 cars were bouncing all along the Grand Prix weekend. Almost every driver reported back issues as their heads & helmets kept bouncing and compressing into their spine, except for Fernando Alonso, who this weekend also became the driver to have the longest intervals between his first and latest F1 race at 21 years, 3 months and 8 days.

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Alonso broke Michael Schumacher’s record of the longest F1 career at Baku

Lewis Hamilton has been the most vocal about his back issues, as the Mercedes W13 is the car most affected by the bouncing. The team brought an upgrade to its cars in Spain which reduced the issue drastically, but it returned in the next race weekend in Monaco and increased in Baku, due to the nature of these tracks. Mercedes teammate George Russel also reported problems, but Hamilton seems to be the most affected by it, as he exclaimed that he was “praying for the end” of the Azerbaijan GP towards the end of the race. “I was just holding and biting down on my teeth due to the pain, and the adrenaline (helped), I cannot express the pain that you experience, particularly on the straight here,” Hamilton told Sky Sports F1 in the post-race media interviews.

Also Read: Netflix Confirms Two More Seasons For F1 Documentary Series ‘Drive To Survive’

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Lewis Hamilton was the most affected by the ‘bouncing’ problem.

Post the Azerbaijan GP, Mercedes boss Toto Wolff also spoke about his concerns regarding the bouncing issues, expecting FIA to intervene and implement a solution across all teams. In theory, Mercedes could simply raise the ride height of its cars to stop the issue, but it will result in a huge loss of performance and will let the other teams get ahead of the Brackley based outfit. When Wolff was asked if Hamilton could end up missing the Canadian GP coming up next weekend, he responded “Yeah, definitely. I haven’t seen him and I haven’t spoken to him afterwards, but you can see this is not muscular anymore. I mean, this goes properly into the spine and can have some consequences.”

Also Read: F1: 2022 Azerbaijan GP Qualifying: Leclerc Outclasses His Rivals To Claim Pole

“We are just smashing the ground every single corner, every lap for an hour and a half is pretty brutal, so I will sleep well tonight,” Russell told Sky Sports F1. “We have just got to deal with it (bouncing) and as drivers accept there is not going to be any short-term changes. But there are conversations going on about the long-term future of these regulations. Let’s see. We have got intelligent people in this sport so I’m sure we will find a solution.” he added.

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Mercedes reserve drivers Nyck De Vries or Stoffel Vandoorne could step in Hamilton’s car if need arises.

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Should Hamilton miss the race, Mercedes will be running its second car with one of its reserve drivers behind the wheel. “The solution could be to have someone on reserve, which we anyway have at every race, to make sure that our cars are running”, Wolff said. Mercedes-AMG F1 currently have 2 reserve drivers, both of which are racing for the Mercedes-EQ Formula E team. Stoffel Vandoorne is currently leading the Formula E World Championship and Nyck De Vries won the championship last year, and either one could make it into Lewis’ car should he not recover in time.

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