Marko makes joke about Hamilton’s back pain as he criticises the FIA

Sir Lewis Hamilton suffered back pain during the Azerbaijan Grand Prix, before ending on the podium in Canada.

Red Bull adviser Dr Helmut Marko has criticised the technical directive introduced by the FIA during last weekend’s Canadian Grand Prix.

Mercedes drivers George Russell and Sir Lewis Hamilton both endured physically demanding races in Baku due to the bouncing issue which is caused by the low ride height of the ground effect-based cars.

Having initially cured their “porpoising” problems caused by aerodynamic deficiencies, the Silver Arrows began to lower their car’s ride height, but this made the impact with the track surface even worse.

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The frequent bumps, coupled with the heavy oscillation has become a concern regarding drivers’ health, as their backs, necks and heads all absorb a lot of the loads.

To help eradicate fears of long-term injury for the drivers, the FIA brought in a metric ahead of the Canadian Grand Prix that will help the governing body set a limit for oscillating movement.

Should a team exceed that, they will be asked to raise their ride height by a minimum of 10 millimetres and, depending on where the limit is set, this could theoretically mean that every team would have to sacrifice their performance in the corners by doing so.

Dr Marko is unhappy that his team face the possibility of being pegged back to help Mercedes, whom he believes have an easy job to do to fix the bouncing – they just do not want to do it.

“I don’t think the FIA’s decisions are right,” he told Sky Germany.

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“One team, Mercedes, have the biggest problems and then you react in the middle of the season. 

“There is a simple solution: you just have to raise the car. Then you no longer have this bouncing, but you lose speed. 

“The fact that they are now reacting in this way and trying to impose such powers on the FIA, which practically determine the set-ups of the cars, is a quick fix that has certainly not been thought through.”

From a safety perspective, the Austrian confirmed that the team ensure the fitness of their drivers to deal with any loads they experience.

“Our drivers are one of the biggest capitals we have,” added Dr Marko.

“We make sure that they are in top physical condition.”

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The Graz-born ex-racer, who started nine Formula 1 races in 1971 and 1972, suggests that the directive needs to be more specific.

“There are still improvements to be made, because all the parameters are far too vague for that,” continued Dr Marko.

“You would be exposing yourself to arbitrariness. That would mainly affect the team that criticised it.”

Hamilton had trouble getting out of his car after finished fourth in Baku, but hopped out much more easily after ending third in Canada last weekend, so Dr Marko could not resist a jab in the ribs.

“Hamilton got out of the car quickly today. When he’s on the podium, it’s a lot easier,” he joked.

Max Verstappen won the Canadian Grand Prix ahead of Ferrari’s Carlos Sainz, with Hamilton earning his second podium of the season behind them.

The victory leaves the Dutchman 46 points clear of team-mate Sergio Perez in the Drivers’ Standings.