Lewis Hamilton may miss Canadian Grand Prix through back injury
Sir Lewis Hamilton may miss the Canadian Grand Prix through injury after the seven-time world champion suffered from severe back pain during Sunday’s race in Azerbaijan.
While Hamilton finished an impressive fourth at the Baku City Circuit, with Red Bull’s Max Verstappen claiming victory, the Brit said during the race that his back was in excruciating pain and afterwards the 37-year-old could be seen struggling to climb out of his Mercedes W13.
The 2022 Formula 1 cars have all been affected by ‘porpoising’, where the car bounces uncontrollably, but Hamilton appears to have been affected the most, telling Sky Sports after Sunday’s race: ‘I can’t express the pain that you experience particularly on the straight here and at the end you’re just praying for it to end.’
And now, it appears that the issue has taken its toll on Hamilton, with Mercedes boss Toto Wolff admitting that his driver is ‘definitely’ a doubt for this weekend’s race at the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve in Montreal.
‘I haven’t seen him, and I haven’t spoken to him afterwards, but you can see this is not muscular anymore – it goes properly deep into the spine and there are some consequences,’ Wolff said.
‘At this stage I think he is maybe the worst affected of all drivers. But pretty much everyone, as far as I understood from the drivers, said something needs to happen.
‘The solution could be to have someone in reserve, which we anyway have at every race, to make sure our cars are running.’
Wolff had previously spoken to Hamilton on the team radio after the Azerbaijan race to apologise, saying: ‘Lewis, we all know this is a bit of a s**t-box to drive at the moment. Sorry for the back also. We will sort ourselves out. Well driven.’
It would be a great shame if Hamilton was to miss out on the Canadian Grand Prix, given his deep affinity for the venue where he won his first F1 race.
As for who could take his place, Mercedes’ two reserve drivers are Stoffel Vandoorne and Nyck de Vries, who both compete for the Silver Arrows’ Formula E team.
While Vandoorne has the most F1 experience having raced for McLaren from 2016-2018, De Vries would be the more likely candidate having recently participated in a practice session at the Spanish Grand Prix for Williams.
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