Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff has expressed concern over Sir Lewis Hamilton’s physical condition ahead of this weekend’s Canadian Grand Prix.
Hamilton and team-mate George Russell both suffered from a lot of bouncing during the Azerbaijan Grand Prix this weekend, and it was by far the most aggressive due to the long straights, the bumpy track and the higher top speeds.
Russell and Ferrari’s Carlos Sainz have both warned of the long-term health affects “porpoising” can have on the drivers and, due to the spine compression Hamilton experienced on Sunday, there is a chance he could be forced to sit out the race weekend in Montreal.
“Yeah, definitely,” said Wolff when asked if the seven-time champion may miss the Canadian Grand Prix, quoted by GPFans.
“You can see that this isn’t muscular anymore. This goes properly into the spine and can have some consequences.”
Mercedes have been endeavouring all year to find out how they can stop the issue from happening without affecting their performance so, whether the answer comes from the teams or the FIA, something has to change.
“He’s really bad and we’ve just got to find a solution,” explained Wolff.
“At this stage, he is maybe the worst affected of all drivers but pretty much everyone, as far as I understand from the drivers, has said that something needs to happen, but I couldn’t give you an explanation of what that is.”
If it does get really bad – and it likely will judging by the way Hamilton hobbled out of his car in Baku – reserve drivers such as Nyck de Vries and Stoffel Vandoorne may be called upon by the German side.
“I don’t think this is only Lewis’ issue,” said the Mercedes boss.
“He is the one that is probably worst affected but generally, it also affects George and many others.
“So the solution could be to have someone on reserve who we have anyway at every race to make sure that our cars run.”
Hamilton finished the Azerbaijan Grand Prix in fourth as team-mate Russell picked up his third podium of the season behind the Red Bull pair of Max Verstappen and Sergio Perez.