Porpoising has Hamilton ‘worried every time’ he races

Michelle Foster
Lewis Hamilton staring at his helmet in the garage. Baku June 2022

Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton staring at his helmet in the garage. Baku June 2022

Declaring he is “worried” every time he climbs into his 2022 Mercedes, Lewis Hamilton says he wants to race – he just does “not want bouncing”.

Finishing fourth in Sunday’s Azerbaijan Grand Prix, in which Mercedes’ bouncing was more extreme than usual, Hamilton climbed out of his car holding his back.

The Briton had told the team during the race his back was “killing”, such was the pain after a weekend of bouncing.

It was so bad that Toto Wolff fears his driver may have to sit out the next race, the Canadian GP, as it is back-to-back with Baku.

You can see this is not muscular anymore,” said the Mercedes motorsport boss. “It goes properly deep into the spine and there are some consequences.

“The solution could be to have someone in reserve, which we anyway have at every race, to make sure our cars are running.”

Hamilton, though, is determined to be back in the car come Friday as the practice sessions begin at the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve – confirming his intention to do so via social media.

That does not mean he is looking forward to it, fearing more bouncing in his future.

“I’m worried every time I get back in the car,” he said, quoted by BBC Sport.

“Of course, I always want to get in the car. I just don’t want to have that bouncing again. I’ll do anything to avoid having that.”

The Briton revealed he is doing cryotherapy to help with the pain, while also being worked on by his physio Angela Cullen.

“I’ve been doing cryotherapy and when you go in there for four minutes it’s bloody cold and you just have to go internal and just say you can and it’s the same kind of thing,” he said.

“Just biting down and gritting with it. I have to think of all the people who rely on me to get the points. This was the worst for me. I haven’t had it this bad this year.”

But while Christian Horner believes a large part of Hamilton’s complaints are Mercedes wanting the drivers to be as vocal as possible in order to force the FIA’s hand when it comes to the rules, Hamilton says Mercedes are not the only ones worried.

“All the drivers are discussing it in the drivers’ briefing, and ultimately none of us want to continue having the bouncing for the next four years with these regulations,” said Hamilton.

“I’m sure the teams will be working at it.”