Hamilton downplays Canada absense fears

Lewis Hamilton insists he will not miss the Canadian Grand Prix after Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff admitted concern about his driver’s availability due to back pain suffered in Azerbaijan.

Hamilton was complaining about the bouncing in his car throughout the race weekend and before the grand prix in Baku had even started Wolff voiced doubts over whether the seven-time world champion would be able to complete the race distance.

Hamilton then exclaimed on team radio “Argh, my back is killing me” at one stage but saw the checkered flag in fourth place, before Wolff speculated over the impact it could have on his fitness for Montreal.

“Yeah, definitely [Hamilton could miss Canada],” Wolff said. “I haven’t seen him and I haven’t spoken to him afterwards, but you can see this is not muscular anymore. I mean, this goes properly into the spine and can have some consequences.

“I don’t think it’s only Lewis with this issue. He’s the one that’s probably worst affected. But generally it affects George [Russell] and many others. The solution could be to have someone on reserve, which we anyway have at every race to make sure that our car is running.”

Following Wolff’s comments, Hamilton himself hinted he had no such concerns after the race, tweeting: “Even when it’s painful, still we rise. Thanks for the love, see you all next week.”

He then followed that with an Instagram post that allayed any fears over his participation in Montreal, adding: “Yesterday was tough and had some troubles sleeping but have woken up feeling positive today!

“Back is a little sore and bruised but nothing serious thankfully. I’ve had acupuncture and physio with Ang (Angela Cullen) and am on the way to my team to work with them on improving. We have to keep fighting. No time like the present to pull together and we will.

“I’ll be there this weekend, wouldn’t miss it for the world.”

Mercedes appeared to make progress with its car in Barcelona two races ago but has struggled on street races since, and Wolff says it will keep its overall car concept in mind as it is struggling on two fronts, with the car bottoming out heavily even when not suffering from the porpoising phenomenon.

“I think they are very much linked together. We’ve seen tracks where we have an aero porpoising and then we have a bouncing and then some cars bottoming so it’s not really clear. It’s all interlinked with the aerodynamic performance of the floor.

“I think we are looking at all possible solutions under the leadership of Mike Elliot. He’s a really strong technical director.

“There are no holy cows, everything is being looked at and we will for sure bring the car back on track. If things can’t be solved in the short term because they’re conceptual, they will be sorted out over the next few months.”