Hamilton to race in Canada despite injury doubt

Henry Valantine
Lewis Hamilton not happy during a press conference. Baku June 2022

Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton is not happy during a press conference. Baku June 2022

Lewis Hamilton has confirmed his intention to race at the Canadian Grand Prix, despite the significant back pain he has suffered.

Hamilton said after Sunday’s race in Azerbaijan he had been “praying” for it to end, saying halfway through “my back is killing me” as he and Mercedes have arguably been the team hardest hit by the ‘porpoising’ effect, or ‘bouncing’ of their car.

Both Hamilton and George Russell’s cars were seen bouncing along the 2.2km start-finish straight in Baku, with the seven-time former World Champion eventually being able to bring his car home fourth, his team-mate the next car ahead.

Hamilton was seen in parc fermé afterwards struggling to climb out of his car such was the pain he was in, and team principal Toto Wolff even went so far as to say he was doubtful as to whether or not his driver would even race in Canada next weekend such were the extent of his injuries.

But Hamilton has put those concerns to bed for now, confirming his aim to be involved in Montreal – the scene of his very first Formula 1 win in 2007.

“Yesterday was tough and I had some trouble sleeping, but I’ve woken up feeling positive today,” Hamilton wrote on social media.

“My back is a little sore and bruised but nothing serious, thankfully. I’ve had acupuncture and physiotherapy with Ang [Cullen, physio and trainer] and I’m on my way to my team to work with them on improving.

“We have to keep fighting. I’ll be there this weekend – I wouldn’t miss it for the world. Wishing everybody an amazing day and week.”

Porpoising is an increasingly hot-button issue in Formula 1, with an ever enlarging number of drivers voicing concerns about their long-term health due to the extra pressure put on their head and back when the cars bounce – with teams keen not to raise the ride height due to the loss of performance.

Red Bull team boss Christian Horner gave the idea of FIA intervention in the issue short shrift, even accusing rival teams of telling their drivers to “b*tch” about porpoising to try and prompt action from the governing body.

Hamilton currently trails his Mercedes team-mate Russell by 37 points in the Drivers’ Championship, after the 24-year-old took his third podium finish of the season by taking P3 in Baku.