Ranked fourth in the Azerbaijani Formula 1 Grand Prix, 71 seconds behind winner Max Verstappen, Lewis Hamilton admitted taking part in the most grueling race of his career today.
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The seven-time world champion, clearly behind this year, took a long time to get out of his Mercedes after a course in which, he says, he suffered greatly physically.
“It’s the hardest race of my life,” he told the French channel Canal +. I have never felt such pain in a racing car. “
So much so that specialized sites have reported comments that his boss would have made and that the British driver’s participation in the Canadian Grand Prix at the weekend would be compromised.
The famous “porpoising”
The German team has not yet solved the problems of the extreme rebounds of its car, commonly described as “porpoising”, a phenomenon that is particularly difficult to bear today on the streets of Baku.
“Lewis is in very bad shape, Toto Wolff pointed out, and it will be necessary to determine in the next few days whether he will be able to race in Canada. “
After two years of absence, Montreal will host the F1 circus this weekend. The first two free practice sessions will take place on Friday afternoon on the Gilles-Villeneuve circuit.
“It’s not a muscle thing anymore,” Wolff said. Rather, it could have unfortunate consequences for his spine. His back is messed up. “
But hey, today it would be premature to suggest that Hamilton will not be able to defend his victory gained in Montreal during his last F1 visit, in 2019.
Russell too, but …
Hamilton is not the only one to have deplored the situation in Baku. Teammate George Russell also said today’s event was particularly hard on his body.
However, the young Brit took the podium for a third time in the 2022 season today, as Hamilton was limited to just one in the opening race in Bahrain.
In the cumulative standings, after the first eight stages of the season, Russell is fourth with 99 points, 37 more than his companion Mercedes.
Vettel saves the furniture
The Aston Martin team can thank its driver Sebastian Vettel, who finished sixth, although the German made a short expedition into a loophole by braking too late to overtake Frenchman Esteban Ocon (Alpine).
“It’s a great result for our team,” said the four-time champion on Sky Sport. We manage to exploit the limits of the machine and it begins to bear fruit. “
For his part, his teammate Lance Stroll has had another weekend of misery. After two qualifying exits the day before, which relegated him to 19th placeAnd placed on the starting grid, he was forced to retire due to vibrations.
As he came out of the top 10, his engineer asked him to return to the refueling pits with five laps to go.
Stroll has only two points from eight races this year and has been left out in all three recent Grands Prix.
Two penalties for Latifi
As for the other Canadian owner of a steering wheel in F1, Nicholas Latifi, his name appears in the last line (15And) of the drivers who have finished the race.
His two penalties certainly did not improve his fate. The first, of which he is not responsible, was imposed on him because his mechanics did not respect the prohibition against not working on the car any more 15 seconds before the starting procedure. At the start of the race he had to pit and stop for ten seconds.
As for the second, the commissioners sanctioned him (five seconds) for not having repeatedly let riders pass him who had given him a lap during the race.