Lewis Hamilton has dismissed concerns about his participation in the Formula 1 Canadian Grand Prix after his back pain struggles in Baku, saying he “wouldn’t miss it for the world”.
Mercedes driver Hamilton was one of the worst-hit drivers by the porpoising issue throughout the Azerbaijan Grand Prix weekend, struggling with the bouncing that blighted his car at the end of the long straight.
Hamilton reported during the race that his back was in pain due to the issue, and said afterwards that he was “holding and biting down on my teeth” to get through the race as he ultimately finished fourth.
Mercedes F1 chief Toto Wolff called on the FIA to intervene and find a solution for the issue, saying that “something needs to happen” given the physical concerns being raised by a number of drivers.
When asked if he feared the pain could force Hamilton to miss the next race in Canada, Wolff replied: “Yeah, definitely. I haven’t seen him and I haven’t spoken to him afterwards, but you can see this is not muscular anymore.”
Writing on Instagram on Monday, Hamilton provided an update on his condition, saying that while he found the Baku race “tough” and he had struggled to sleep last night, he had no thoughts of missing the Canadian Grand Prix this weekend.
“[My] back is a little sore and bruised but nothing serious thankfully,” Hamilton said.
“I’ve had acupuncture and physio with Ang [Angela Cullen, his physio] and am on the way to my team to work with them on improving.
“We have to keep fighting. No time like the present to pull together and we will.
“I’ll be there this weekend, wouldn’t miss it for the world. Wishing everybody an amazing day and week.”
Mercedes has been one of the teams to struggle the most with the porpoising issue this season, which emerged in pre-season testing following the return of ground effect under the new generation of cars.
The bumpy Baku street circuit combined with the high-speed main straight left a number of drivers struggling physically, reigniting the safety debate surrounding porpoising.
Hamilton admitted after the race in Azerbaijan that there were “a lot of moments where I didn’t know if I was going to make it” because of the pain and amid his fight to stay in control of the car when it bounced.
“I nearly lost it in the high speed several times,” Hamilton said. “So the battle with the car was intense. And then at the end, the last 10 laps to the flag, I was just having to go internal, like, ‘you can do this, you’ve got this. Just bear with it.’”