Lewis Hamilton said he expected to be able to take part in this weekend’s Canadian Grand Prix despite suffering back pain during Sunday’s Azerbaijan Grand Prix.
The 37-year-old struggled to get out of his Mercedes cockpit after the 51-lap race in Baku, after complaining: “My back is killing me,” over the team radio. Both Hamilton and his teammate, George Russell, suffered as a result of their cars “porpoising” – bouncing on the track as a result of new aerodynamic regulations.
Hamilton later described the race as the most painful of his career. “I was biting down on my teeth with the pain,” the seven-time world champion said. “I can’t express it. Adrenaline got me through. You were just praying for it to end.”
The Mercedes team principal, Toto Wolff, feared Hamilton might not have been able to race in Montreal. But in a story posted to his Instagram account, Hamilton appeared to allay any concerns. “I’ll be there this weekend,” he said. “I wouldn’t miss it for the world.”
Hamilton added: “Yesterday was tough and I had some troubles sleeping but I have woke up feeling positive today. Back is a little sore and bruised but nothing serious thankfully. I’ve had acupuncture and physio with Angela [Cullen] and I am on the way to my team to work with them on improving.”
Hamilton, who is attending Mercedes’ Brackley factory on Monday after finishing fourth in Baku, continued: “We have to keep fighting. No time like the present to pull together, and we will.”
On Sunday, Wolff apologised to Hamilton for the continued problems with his car this season. “We all know it’s a bit of a shit box to drive at the moment, and sorry about the back, but we’ll sort ourselves out,” the Austrian said.
Russell, who finished third behind the Red Bulls of Max Verstappen and Sergio Pérez after both Ferraris failed to finish, described the race as “pretty brutal … I’ll sleep well tonight.” Hamilton later tried to strike an upbeat note: “I reckon we’re losing one second per lap with this bouncing and once we fix it we’ll be right there in the race.”
The grand prix at the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve, a traditional staple of the Formula One calendar, is back on the schedule this year for the first time since 2019.