Lewis Hamilton confirms participation in the Canadian Grand Prix after Mercedes boss Toto Wolff said the driver was "definitely" in doubt following Sunday's painful race.
Seven-time world champion Lewis Hamilton described Sunday's Azerbaijan Grand Prix as "the toughest race" of his career after suffering more bouncing issues that resulted in him enduring severe back pain.
The issues were so severe that Mercedes feared he might not be fit to race in Canada.
Hamilton, who clutched his back as he clambered out of the car, likened the experience to enduring a four-minute cryotherapy session and said he just focused on all the people counting on him to score points.
Speaking after the race, Hamilton said: “Just like biting down on my teeth through pain and just adrenaline. I can’t express the pain you’ll feel just picking on the straight here and at the end you’re just praying for it to end.”
Hamilton finished fourth in Baku after starting seventh in a race where both Ferrari drivers retired.
Teammate George Russell, who finished third, warned on Saturday that it was only a matter of time before the 'porpoising' problem caused a major accident. Hamilton remained optimistic about Mercedes’ position in the Championship.
“But we’re in such a good position still. To get third and fourth is a great result for the team. The team did a great job with the strategy. Once we fix this bouncing we’re going to be right there in the race.”
In a social media post on Monday, he expressed that his back was sore and he had trouble sleeping, but he had undergone acupuncture and physiotherapy. He further states that he is working with his team and will be there on Sunday for the Canadian Grand Prix.
Team boss Toto Wolff recognised the situation and raised concerns about the long-term effects of the porpoising on Hamilton’s physical health and fitness.
Red Bull boss Christian Horner, whose drivers finished one-two with world champion Max Verstappen leading Sergio Perez, suggested rivals might be over-playing the problems to secure a favourable rule change on safety grounds.
Red Bull’s Max Verstappen also displayed a lack of sympathy for title rival Charles Leclerc at the Azerbaijan Grand Prix after the Ferrari driver retired from the race with an engine failure.
Any chance of a spectacular fightback for Leclerc was thwarted on Lap 20 when smoke poured from the back of his Ferrari.
Leclerc immediately returned to the pits and retired the car with what Ferrari confirmed was a power unit issue.