LEWIS HAMILTON battled via one in every of his hardest ever Grand Prix in Azerbaijan on Sunday.
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Lewis Hamilton has opened up on the terrifying nature of his Azerbaijan Grand Prix, which was affected by porpoising on Baku’s tough avenue circuit. The Briton struggled with again ache all through, and had to deal with fears that the automobile would veer into the wall at excessive velocity, which he described as a ‘very unusual expertise’.
Even earlier than Sunday’s race, Mercedes crew principal Toto Wolff was outspoken about the truth that Baku’s bumpy circuit was not effectively suited to the vehicles pushed by Hamilton and George Russell. And so it proved, although a double retirement by Ferrari meant that the Silver Arrows got here via to take a good third and fourth.
Max Verstappen additionally benefitted from Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz struggling automobile troubles as he got here via to take one other win, forward of Pink Bull team-mate Sergio Perez. After the mud settled, Hamilton opened up on the terrifying nature of his race.
“There have been loads of moments once I didn’t know if I’d make it,” mentioned the seven-time world champion, per PlanetF1. “Simply whether or not I used to be going to maintain the automobile on monitor as a result of I don’t know for those who noticed it, I almost misplaced it within the high-speed a number of occasions.
Lewis Hamilton feared a high-speed crash in Baku because of his porpoising Mercedes (Picture: GETTY)
“So the battle with the automobile was intense. After which on the finish, the final 10 laps to the flag, I used to be simply having to go inside, like ‘you are able to do this, you’ve bought this, simply bear with it’. The factor was bouncing a lot typically. There have been so many occasions I used to be almost going into the wall.
“In order that was a priority – safety-wise at 180mph, smashing into the wall…I don’t assume I’ve actually ever had to consider that an excessive amount of as a racing driver. You don’t actually ever take into consideration holding it out of the wall at that top velocity. A really, very, very unusual expertise.”
Hamilton and co haven’t been given lengthy to relaxation and get better after a gruelling Grand Prix, with the grid heading straight to Montreal for the season’s subsequent instalment. There had been fears that the 37-year-old wouldn’t be capable to make it because of his again ache in Baku, which he claimed over the crew radio was ‘killing him’, however Hamilton has since revealed on social media that he can be there.
The Brit will hope that Mercedes’ porpoising points can be reined in at Circuit Gilles Villeneuve, which has not seen F1 motion since 2019. And he isn’t the one one, as Alpha Tauri star Pierre Gasly additionally mentioned the well being issues related to the bouncing that comes with this season’s new ground-effect vehicles.
Pierre Gasly believes that porpoising is placing drivers’ well being in danger (Picture: GETTY)
“It’s not wholesome, that’s for positive,” he defined, per Motorsport.com. “I’ve had a physio session earlier than and after each session, simply because my [spinal] discs are affected by it. You have got actually no suspension. It simply hits going via your backbone.
“The crew are asking me, ‘okay, we are able to compromise the set-up?’ and I’m compromising my well being for the efficiency. And I’ll all the time do it as a result of I’m a driver and I all the time go for the quickest automobile I can.”