Hamilton ‘sore’ from bouncing, Russell says it can’t continue

Michelle Foster
Lewis Hamilton not happy during a press conference. Baku June 2022

Lewis Hamilton says he is “a bit sore” after all the bouncing his W13 suffered during Friday’s practices for the Azerbaijan Grand Prix.

Mercedes went into the weekend hoping that they would not have a repeat of their Monaco bouncing, but it was back with a vengeance on Friday as the drivers took to the second street circuit in succession.

But while Monaco takes place at slow speeds, Baku’s long 2.2km straight sees the drivers hit a top speed of over 300kph, aggravating the bouncing.

Hamilton was left in some discomfort.

“I’ll get by, a bit sore,” he said. “We’re hitting some serious speeds at the end here and it’s bouncing a lot.”

Mercedes’ troubles showed in the results, Hamilton finishing the day down in 12th place as he was 1.650s off Charles Leclerc’s pace-setting time.

He revealed he had run an experimental set-up as Mercedes desperately sought a solution to the bouncing, and that cost him lap time.

“Yep, we tried something experimental on my car and it didn’t feel that great to be honest,” he said.

“But at least we tried it, we’ve got data on it, and hopefully for tomorrow [Saturday] we will probably revert back to what we changed.”

George Russell had similar issues in practice, the Briton 1.324s off the pace as he also bounced up and down.

The driver who revealed after Imola that he had neck and back pain, reiterated that the drivers cannot continue like this for years to come.

“Now with the cars are running so close to the ground,” he said as per GPFans, “in the high-speed corners the cars are fully bottoming out and it’s the same for everybody.

“It’s really not comfortable to drive.

“I don’t know what the future holds for this era of cars but I can’t see us running like this for the next four years so, for all of us, conversations will be needed as we’re all in the same boat.”

 

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