Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff sympathised with Sir Lewis Hamilton after the Azerbaijan Grand Prix following the 37-year-old’s strong drive to fourth.
Mercedes’ bouncing was arguably the worst it has ever been in Baku this weekend, and it got to the point where Hamilton was complaining of severe back pain during the race while he was chasing AlphaTauri’s Pierre Gasly for P4.
He was seen stretching his back after the race when he got out of the car, as the ground effect aerodynamics under the new technical regulations continue to physically “rattle” the drivers, in the words of Daniel Ricciardo.
The Silver Arrows have been trying to find a fix for the bouncing all year, and Wolff apologised to the 37-year-old for the horrible feeling he had inside the cockpit.
“We all know that this is a bit of a s***box to drive at the moment, and sorry for the back also. We will sort ourselves out, well driven,” Wolff said over the radio.
“Well done,” was Hamilton’s reply.
“Well done, great job with the strategy, thank you for continuing to push.
“Let’s definitely make some changes, okay? Thanks.”
Hamilton passed Gasly to take 12 points from the race behind team-mate George Russell as they capitalised on Ferrari’s reliability problems, and in the end it was sheer “adrenaline” that got him through the afternoon.
“That’s the only thing, just biting down on my teeth through pain and just adrenaline,” he told Sky Sports.
“I can’t express the pain that you experience, particularly on the straight here, and at the end you’re just praying for it to end.
“We’re in such a good position still, third and fourth is a great result for the team.
“The team did a great job with the strategy and once we fix this bouncing we’re going to be right there in the race.
“But we were losing for sure over a second with bouncing, or at least a second with bouncing, so I’ll be at the factory tomorrow.
“We got to have some good discussions and keep pushing.”
Mercedes’ 27 points in Baku moves them 28 points behind Ferrari in the race for second in the Constructors’ Championship, but they are desperate to find a solution to the physically detrimental bouncing issue.