Azerbaijan GP – For Lewis Hamilton, fourth place and stewed back: “I was praying for it to end”

Parked in the enclosed park, he joins twice to leave his seat. He ends up sitting on the halo, his right hand resting on his lower back. Helped by a member of the Mercedes team, he has all the difficulties in the world to get rid of his car completely. The yellow-colored fluorescent violet helmet doesn’t fool the pilot’s identity – it’s really Lewis Hamilton.

The seven-time world champion finished 4th at the Azerbaijan Grand Prix on Sunday afternoon, finishing behind teammate George Russell thanks to a good maneuver over Pierre Gasly (AlphaTauri). But this great performance behind the wheel of a badly born car has a price: it left him in a deplorable state, plagued by a huge backache, which he announced on the radio on the 29th lap.

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“It was the most physical race I’ve ever done in my life. I’ve never felt so much pain in a car before. The races are physical but this time I was biting my tongue to contain the pain.explained to our colleagues Canal +recognizing later that the adrenaline made him see the checkered flag and that he goes “He prayed for the race to end”.

Russell raises “security” issue

There is no need to dwell on the cause of this discomfort, amplified or not: the porpoise. If the rest of the teams are still more or less affected, the W13 was shaken all weekend in Azerbaijan. The phenomenon of violent and continuous rebounds has cost the Silver Arrows “more than a tenth” on the only Avinguda dels Pétroliers, a rugged section of 2,200 meters. Above all, it caused terrible pain to Hamilton.

After qualifying, the Stevenange native had already confided in the evil that gnawed at him: “God bless Angela (Cullen, his physiotherapist). Fortunately, he offers me physiotherapy and acupuncture sessions every evening. This morning (Saturday)I woke up in a lot of pain.

Also subject to porpoise on the other Mercedes, George Russell addressed the issue. The president of the F1 Grand Prix Drivers Association (GPDA) has sounded the alarm and called on the FIA. The safety of the pilots is, according to him, at stake: “I think it’s only a matter of time before something important happens. Drivers can barely see where to brake at the end of the straight because of the rebound. It’s not just our team.” Many of us can barely keep up. straight car. these times. In Baku, go through the last two corners at 300 km / h scratching the ground! “

Lewis Hamilton to Baku

Credit: Getty Images

Horner disapproves of Wolff

Russell joined Toto Wolff, again apologizing to Hamilton for leaving him such a car to drive. “This regulation will follow us for many years. Now is the time to say that this is a real problem for the physical condition of drivers. It is not just our point of view.”assured the head of Mercedes into the microphone of Sky Sports. An opinion that his Red Bull counterpart Christian Horner obviously does not share: “The easiest decision to counteract the porpoise is to increase the height of the vehicle. The team has a choice.”

Despite these difficulties, the German team took advantage of the events of the race to add 27 points and return to the 38 Ferrari units. George Russell’s third podium of the season helped a lot. The young Englishman is maximizing the potential of his W13 and has finished all his races in the Top 5.

As for Hamilton, fourth and chosen driver of the day, this weekend he has opted for different adjustments in order to correct the defects of the Silver Arrows. Although Wolff questioned his presence in Montreal next week, the seven-time world champion, meanwhile, said he would be in the factory on Monday. “to find solutions”.

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