Lewis Hamilton ‘clearly stressed’ as Mercedes warned bouncing may give Brit ‘concussion’

Max Verstappen makes subtle dig at Lewis Hamilton

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Damon Hill has warned Lewis Hamilton that the bouncing he is suffering may eventually cause him a concussion, after the seven-time world champion was caught on camera in pain getting out of his car after finishing fourth in the Azerbaijan Grand Prix.

Hamilton’s car was bouncing severely on the long home straight in Baku, and the Brit complained several times on his team radio about the issue. At the end of the race Mercedes chief Toto Wolff was forced to apologise for the physical torment the 37-year-old was put through.

“He has got to drive it and he is clearly getting stressed from doing that,” Hill told Sky Sports F1. “The other thing I am thinking about is if you keep doing that, you are going to get some sort of concussion.

“It is a mild thing, but it is headbanging all the way round. It is just not an ideal state of play at all and he has probably scuffed a bit of skin off his lower back I should think. I think it is a horrible frequency that Mercedes is doing compared to the Red Bull, it is a very, very high pitch one and I think it is really hammering on that back.”

Hamilton has suffered from porpoising and bouncing throughout the year, and his Mercedes team-mate George Russell has claimed that the new era of Formula One cars are “dangerous” and that a major incident is waiting to happen.

“It is a horrible frequency for the head and also for the back at the same time,” Hill added. “Worse than the Red Bull or Ferrari. They can’t expect Lewis and George to go through this year suffering the way they are at the moment. It’s the hip as well, the way you sit in the cockpit it is no surprise, they have got to do something, they have got to make those drivers get through a whole season and their careers.”

Hamilton finished fourth in Baku, behind Russell and the two Red Bull drivers Max Verstappen and Carlos Sainz as both Ferrari drivers Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz were unable to finish the race. “This is a bit of a **** box to drive,” Wolff said to Hamilton after the Brit finished the race. “And sorry for the back problems.”

“Well done, guys,” replied Hamilton. “And well done on the strategy. Thank you on continuing to push, but make some changes, okay? Please. Let’s keep pushing.”

“I don’t think you can suck it up because it’s just really bad for the back,” the Mercedes boss admitted to Sky Sports F1 before the race. “I’m not even sure we can go full length with Lewis, it’s based on physical pain. It’s really compressing the spine. I think that most of the drivers have now come to the conclusion that it’s really bad. It’s the moment now to say that is a real issue and what can we do to lift everybody up.”

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