Sir Lewis Hamilton endured the most “painful race” of his career at the Azerbaijan Grand Prix, after suffering from porpoising so aggressive that it left him with spinal pain.
The seven-time World Champion has been on an incredible run of form since racing at the Baku City Circuit, after claiming a podium at every round since.
Hamilton was seen physically struggling to climb out of his W13 post-race, due to the severity of his back pain.
After the race in Baku, Hamilton told RaceFans.net that it was the “toughest” and “most painful” race he’d ever experienced.
“That was the most painful race I’ve experienced. The toughest race I’ve experienced,” Hamilton said.
“I don’t want to have that bouncing again. I’ll do anything to avoid having that again.”
Thankfully for the 37-year-old, the Mercedes F1 Team have since gotten on top of their porpoising dilemma, with the incoming technical directive set to further rule-out any driver experiencing the bouncing phenomena to the extent Hamilton did in Baku.
Incredible new footage has since been released on YouTube showing how Hamilton almost crashed on the exit of Turn 18, where he can be seen losing control of the car and being forced into correcting it.
Mercedes struggled with their top speed at the circuit, with the issue Hamilton had at Turns 18-19 as seen in the video below, potentially a reason for that.
The video shows Hamilton almost crashing at Turn 18, and then goes on to compare how other drivers dealt with that corner during the race.
The Brit’s porpoising looked truly horrific, with Mercedes having since provided data which shows that the aggressive bouncing can cause potential brain damage, one of the reasons why the FIA have intervened and introduced the TD.
“The thing was bouncing so much,” Hamilton explained.
“There were so many times I was nearly going into the wall.
“So that was a concern safety wise at 180 miles an hour, smashing into the wall. I don’t think I’ve ever really had to think about that too much as a racing driver. You don’t really ever think about keeping it out of the wall at high speed. A very, very strange experience.”
The incoming TD at the Belgian Grand Prix will see all the teams have to keep the amount of porpoising their drivers’ experience between a set range, with the FIA having designed a metric of what they deem to be safe and not safe.
This means that the scale of porpoising seen at Baku and in early rounds of the season won’t be seen again, with new regulation changes having also been announced for 2023 which will further take aim at eliminating the phenomena.