Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, Baku Street Circuit, 2022

Mercedes plan reserve driver “solution” for Canada in case Hamilton cannot drive

2022 Azerbaijan Grand Prix

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Mercedes will ensure they are prepared for the possibility Lewis Hamilton cannot participate during next week’s Canadian Grand Prix weekend.

Hamilton said he was in severe pain during today’s Azerbaijan Grand Prix due to his car’s porpoising and bottoming throughout the race. He called it “the most painful race I’ve experienced”.

Wolff said it was clear his driver’s condition was worse than just muscular pain. “I haven’t seen him and I haven’t spoken to him afterwards,” he said, “but you can see this is not muscular anymore. I mean, this goes properly into the spine and can have some consequences.”

Practice for the next race at the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve is due to begin in five days’ time. Wolff said the team will be ready for the possibility Hamilton or team mate George Russell cannot drive.

“I don’t think this is only Lewis’s issue,” he said. “He’s the one that is probably worst affected. But generally, it also affects George and many others.

“So the solution could be to have someone on reserve, which we anyway have at every race, to make sure that our cars run.”

Hamilton has not missed a race since he tested positive for Covid-19 ahead of the Sakhir Grand Prix in 2020. All teams are required to run junior drivers in at least two practice sessions during the course of the season. Mercedes could take advantage of the opportunity to do that in first practice, extending Hamilton’s recuperation time.

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Max Verstappen, Red Bull, Baku Street Circuit, 2022
Gallery: 2022 Azerbaijan Grand Prix in pictures
Wolff apologised to Hamilton over the radio after the race. “I know this is a bit of a shitbox to drive,” he said, “sorry for that.”

He admitted afterwards his driver was in “really bad” shape following the race. “We’ve just got to find a solution at this stage,” said Wolff. “He’s, I think, maybe the worst-affected from our drivers.

“But pretty much everyone, as far as I understood from the drivers, said that something needs to happen. But I couldn’t give you an explanation what that is.”

In Baku the problem of the cars porpoising – bouncing up and down at speed – was aggravated by them bottoming out – hitting the circuit – on the bumpy track. “They are very much linked together,” Wolff agreed. “We have seen tracks where we have zero porpoising and then we have bouncing and then some cars are bottoming.

“So it’s not really clear. It is clear [that] it’s all interlinked with the aerodynamic performance of the floor.”

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2022 Azerbaijan Grand Prix

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...
Claire Cottingham
Claire has worked in motorsport for much of her career, covering a broad mix of championships including Formula One, Formula E, the BTCC, British...

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128 comments on “Mercedes plan reserve driver “solution” for Canada in case Hamilton cannot drive”

  1. How about they concentrate on making their wind-tunnel-virtual-championship-winning car a bit less harsh on its drivers?

    1. This is really a double whammy for Hamilton and Mercedes. They have Ham testing theories and gathering data, which is tough enough, but then that mean he has less time to set up the car for qualifying and race pace. Meanwhile Russell gets the best of both worlds. As the future of Mercedes he benifits from the extra testing Hamilton is doing, whilst also having more time to fine tune the setup for his car.

      People will say Mercedes could ride higher, sacrificing ground effect down force, this would force them to increase their rear wings effectively killing the pace of their car. Its the promise of pace and downforce which keeps the teams on this no pain no gain philosophy.

      1. @Ajaxn: “People will say Mercedes could ride higher, sacrificing ground effect down force”

        Am I right in thinking that both Red Bull and Ferrari are using titanium skates to prevent the car floor getting too close to the road surface and stalling the ground effect? And if so, does anyone know why Merc and others are not using the same approach? And for that matter, can anyone who knows about these things say when a skate becomes a skirt?

        1. AlanD I could be wrong but I thought the skates were moreso to help keep air channeled and sealed under the car and therefore the vacuum, but not to keep the floor from bottoming out. Possibly even to help direct the underside air to the rear diffuser in the manner that is most effective. I think that by sealing the air well that allows for them to be able to run the car higher and therefore not suffer the annoying bottoming out in that way. So in that sense I think the skates are a bit of a skirt.

        2. Sky’s Karun Chandhok’s debrief on Hamilton’s car also featured a comparison with the Redbull in slow motion.


          What’s interesting was the Redbull was running higher than Mercedes and their skirt seemed a lot stiffer, at least compared to the Mercedes, which could be seen flexing as the floor bottomed out.

          All this means despite Mercedes stiffing the floor, the surrounding structure also needs to be a lot stiffer. That said, in Monaco the Mercedes drivers were complaining that the car was too stiff for the bumpy road surface. Mercedes need to allow for the circuit when the set up the cars and not have ‘one size to fit all’.

  2. Alpine better be on the phone to merc right now

    1. They’d go for either De Vries or Vandoorne, their actual reserve drivers, unless neither could attend in the first place.

      1. De Vries is their reserve driver for Canada.

        1. But Piastri is better driver.

          1. Maybe give a chance to Vesti

          2. “But Piastri is better driver.”

            @abrams25 Zero proof of Piastri being better and doesn’t make any sense. Piastri is certainly a talent of the future and untested in a F1 car and also owned by Alpine.

            De Vries is a multi-world champion in open wheel racing and he just blazed the 24hr Le Mans this weekend stepping in at the very last second, setting the fastest lap of the team vault the team to 4th overall when they started in the back. I think his best time was one of top three laps in LMP2 this weekend.

          3. Bruno Verrari
            13th June 2022, 11:50

            Says who – based on what?!
            van Doorne was the most dominant F2 Champ…

  3. I think Mercedes (and probably other teams) are sailing close to the wind here. If drivers are actually being injured — not just uncomfortable — then by law the team has to prevent that, whatever it takes. Knowingly putting an employee, or someone acting under instruction for a company, at risk of injury is rightly illegal under UK health and safety law.

    1. I don’t know how applicable those same laws are to athletes. Boxing wouldn’t be allowed if there was the same rules as typical employment

      1. Boxers don’t fight for a team. Drivers are contractors

      2. I seriously doubt 0 risk is the legal standard or the whole country would be shut down.

    2. But Merc is much worse than other teams – most drivers are not getting injured.
      Their only option may be to field last years car.
      One thing for sure – the FIA aren’t going to shelve the rest of the season.

      1. Their 1st option is to raise the car, adopt a more comfortable setup etc.

        1. Exactly, stop whining of you don’t want to use the solution that is known to all.. it’s up to Mercedes to solve this. Not up to the FIA as that would basically punish teams that DID solve the problems (at great expense) or reward the teams that refuse to use the solution in front of them.

        2. Their 1st option is to raise the car, adopt a more comfortable setup etc.

          … or drive not so fast.

        3. Yes you are right. I watched Lando talking after the race and he said McLaren are fine because they Ihave more clearance than Merc.
          He said they can in fact raise the height of their car but they will lose performance.
          It appears Mark isn’t as concerned for their drivers as getting maximum points.

    3. Electroball76
      12th June 2022, 17:55

      I think the drivers are contractors, not employees, and have probably signed multiple waivers. But yeah, Merc should hurry up their improvements.

    4. I’m thinking back to 1994. This is getting worrying.

      1. Yeah. It’s like they learned nothing from history.

    5. To be clear, you can’t sign away duty of care, and contractors still have to be protected from harm in the course of their activity.

      If Mercedes are risking injury their drivers they have to remove that risk, or they might be liable to criminal prosecution under Health and Safety law in the UK.

      1. @dang I agree

        Potential spinal injuries that could last a life time is no small legal matter. I’m sure there’s a large percentage of readers who can relate with back injuries and not a fun thing? Creating a working environment (contractor or not) that could cause spinal injury is a serious matter. I’m sure the Gravity sensors (up/down) on the car would reflect what is too much for a drivers health. Just watching the MB go down those straights during FP made my back hurt and thinking Oh, that’s going to leave a mark.

        1. Easy solution. Raise the height of the floorboard.
          I think if they don’t find another solution soon they will do that.
          They have to.

    6. I think you raise an important question Dan G. The FIA have been very safety-conscious in recent years, so it is surprising they are not more concerned about this issue. I was surprised when ground effect was reintroduced for 2022 as I thought ground effect was banned way back when for safety reasons. i.e. when cars were glued to the track by ground effect, if they hit a kerb at the wrong angle, they became airborne very easily. And wasn’t the introduction of “the plank” also for safety reasons, to stop cars riding too low to the track?

      1. To me they might be concerned, or they might not be since they can cite other teams that are not suffering this at all or at least to a lessor degree. I think they have come a long way since ground effects was last employed, and certainly we are not seeing cars displaying erratic behaviour when hitting a kerb of going a bit sideways etc. They don’t seem to be losing their downforce and suddenly flying off the track. That would be thanks to the extensive work Brawn and his Liberty team, along with all the F1 teams’ did ahead of them settling on the regs for these cars.

      2. I agree, every reasonable effort should be made to protect the drivers. Recently I heard the commentator on a video say active suspension was originally introduced to prevent porpoising. I get the impression everyone involved in F1 knew there was the possibility of porpoising happening to cars designed to these new rules, which raises the question of why teams weren’t allowed to again use active suspension as part of the rule change? According to a Racefans article in 2019, the FIA rejected this because “.. reintroducing active suspension would undermine efforts to improve the quality of racing by allowing cars to follow each other closely.” I’m sceptical of this claim. How can a car which maintains ride height to within a few millimetres be worse than one which jumps around like a kangaroo? Or one that continually makes the driver feel like they’ve been kicked by a horse?
        According to that article active suspension is cheaper to build and cheaper to install and cheaper to resolve issues like porpoising. My guess is if Mercedes had software controlled active suspension and discovered the porpoising on the first day of pre-season testing then a software update would have been installed by the third day of pre-season testing.
        The FIA has a responsibility to protect all drivers. This situation was entirely predictable. I’m sure someone will come running up with the silly claim active suspension is aiding a driver, which is ludicrous. Cars are allowed to have computerised gear select because the gearboxes are so expensive and drivers can accidentally munch the gears, but the even more expensive and irreplaceable driver isn’t allowed protection from being chewed up by the rough ride? There are racing series’s where the vehicles almost certainly have active suspension, e.g. racing tractor units.
        The FIA either needs to come up with a danger to life argument as to why teams can’t choose to install active suspension systems in their cars, or they need to allow cars to use active suspension systems.

        1. As far as I know, no sporting series uses active suspension by design, @drycrust, for the simple facts that it: a) is very expensive to design and implement; b) reduces the human influence within the sport; and c) becomes very difficult to monitor and police by the series’ technical stewards, as an active and fully customisable computer program is doing all the work.
          If all F1 wanted to be was a technical competition, then active anything and everything would be a nerd’s wet dream – but it would be prohibitively boring for the majority of spectators, and the driver’s satisfaction (and enthusiasm) would also drop.

          The biggest reason F1 doesn’t want a return to active suspension is the same reason it doesn’t want fully- or semi-automatic gearboxes, anti-lock braking systems or traction control, and also the same reason they’ve been avoiding active aerodynamics for decades (DRS excluded obviously).
          It is has to strike a balance between sport and tech. Having too much of one in F1 generally reduces the other, and more importantly, lowers the quality and value of the whole.

          It’s not a safety issue in this case, for the simple reason that it’s been proven that these cars can work well and be fast without porpoising being a significant problem.
          The problem is in specific car design – not in technical regulation.
          The FIA has no issue or responsibility here – Mercedes do, however. And Ferrari, if they feel that it’s a significant issue for them.
          I suspect they don’t however, as they are winning with their current aero and suspension.

  4. Barry Bens (@barryfromdownunder)
    12th June 2022, 15:53

    But generally, it also affects George and many others.

    These terms used such as ‘many’ and ‘a lot’ are really bothersome. If it’s the majority of the grid, THEN you can claim those words. If it’s only your team and a few others, it’s not.

    All of this is just a sad attempt as trying to sway the FIA to gift them a free fix because they didn’t do their homework. IF they get the free fix and can run their intended car, everyone will compliment them on fixing it and making such a great car again. Meanwhile teams that spend funds and time on preventing the problem get a free fix which they can’t implement because they have their own already in place.

    Downright pathetic, especially seeing as how Wolff claims ‘they’ are still going to fix it themselves. He has no intention of doing that: he’s just going to bother the FIA till they give in.

    1. @barryfromdownunder Yeah I’ve been agreeing with your stance on this and do again. I find that the drivers complaining the most are saying it is all the drivers, but realistically are Max, Checo, Charles, and Carlos really complaining? In their win-capable cars? Would GR and LH complain if they had the same porpoising Ferrari does but were also getting poles and wins?

      1. @robbie

        Would GR and LH complain if they had the same porpoising Ferrari does but were also getting poles and wins?

        No, because the Ferrari has less porpoising. Kind of a nonsensical question unless you disagree that Mercedes is far worse to drive (it clearly is unless you really want to see otherwise).

        1. @david-br As I said ‘the same porpoising as Ferrari does’ which yes seems less, so in other words it is about degrees of porpoising then, and therefore Mercedes’ drivers are calling for FIA intervention because of their own plight, not the others.

        2. petebaldwin (@)
          12th June 2022, 17:50

          Would they be complaining if they had the exact same bouncing/porpoising as they currently have but we’re leading the Championship? Would they be desperate for the FIA to step in? Would they be claiming that all of the drivers are suffering?

          I think we all know the answer to that….

          1. @petebaldwin That’s a different question to @robbie ‘s. Maybe they wouldn’t be. However Hamilton’s pain looks real and if he starts missing GPs the answer is obvious that they should indeed be complaining still, whether or not they’re winning races. All these questions swirl around the implication that the Mercedes drivers are exaggerating the pain for ‘political’ purposes, i.e. to get a real change. I doubt it but (rival) fans are free to speculate. What should be happening is FIA monitoring the situation more closely. In the end it’s not a subjective question but one of potential physical injuries.

          2. * ‘rule’ change

          3. @david-br Just to be clear I don’t think they are faking it for effect, but I do think they have it within their control to do something about it, but of course that might mean right now in ‘quick-fix’ terms raising the car which could mean slowing it down. If they don’t want to do that and prefer to punish their drivers for the sake of being 40+ and 60+ seconds back I don’t see why FIA has to monitor this on their behalf. Unfortunately for Mercedes, FIA need only to point to RBR and tell them ‘see it can be done, so it’s not up to us to intervene.’

            So I do think we are now hearing the word ‘dangerous’ from the likes of GR because he knows that when it comes to safety FIA may take a more forgiving tack. But it isn’t actually ‘dangerous’ for most of the drivers, so it isn’t actually a safety issue other than perhaps for Mercedes and to a lessor degree perhaps a few others, and again that is track specific. Anyway I’m sure FIA monitors everything all the time and will have seen RBR and others be fine, and Ferrari being very competitive with much porpoising too. I don’t see how Mercedes would have a leg to stand on here. And I just think if LH has been the experimenter and it’s hurting him and he’s still 60+ seconds off, they need to try something else. They’re imho not going to find any magic with this car anyway and are not going to be fighting for wins and the Championships on merit this season. So try other things and ease off on the drivers, or don’t. But don’t look to FIA for a rescue that others don’t need.

          4. @robbie I’m not talking about FIA rescuing Mercedes, at all: I’m talking about FIA obliging Mercedes to raise the ride height, if need be, for the safety of their drivers. Obviously to force them to do so, they’d need some monitored parameter (of stress/bouncing). Hence my suggestion. Is it up to FIA to protect the drivers? Ultimately, yes. The drivers can be forced by various internal team pressures to accept conditions that have the potential to harm them.

          5. @david-br Ok fair comment. I don’t think it should needs come to that but I take your point.

          6. There are two issues here. First Mercedes as championship winners have had less wind tunnel time. This was ok when they were incrementally adding to a successful package. They should have had equal wind tunnel time to develop this radically new concept design. So natuarally they are behind. They were always going to be behind that’s the whole point of capping their time in the wind tunnels..

            The other issues is engine. Mercedes shifted the goals when they introduced their new cooling solution, I have the feeling the new way they’ve chosen to cool the car, may have also capped the performance of their engine. I happen to think this week’s testing program was about the engine, and how far they could push that. So we saw Hamilton enduring the bounce which comes with pushing the car, as they
            gather data on the engine’s new limits.

            Mean while we have Ferrari and Redbull who can afford to run their car a bit higher because they have engines they can push that bit harder. That said we’ve seen the Ferrari and the Redbull DNF when they push too far on those limits. No word yet on the cause Ferrari power failures, but the championship could well come down to engine penalties.

          7. Ajaxn I’d be surprised if the relatively minimally less tunnel time Mercedes had has made the difference. I’d also be surprised if this has to do with engine cooling or compromises, but if so that’s on them. It doesn’t make sense to me for you to say RBR and Ferrari can run higher because they can push their engines. They’re unrelated. Running higher generally means less downforce with these cars except for those who have figured out how to run a bit higher and still retain the vacuum under the car.

    2. Yep. It’s a Merc design issue. They need to fix their car – not punish the rest of the field.

  5. Across a variety of sports, from football to American Football to sledding, there’s a growing awareness that micro-concussions can occur in relatively short events (heading a fast ball, or a skeleton event that only takes a minute or so per run) but that the repeated exposure to these micro-concussions can add up and cause major brain damage over the course of an athlete’s career. This is a serious issue for Hamilton and Russell.

    However, Wolff’s ongoing theatrics – with threatening to withdraw the big champion being the latest example – all ignore that his team has by far the worst car when it comes to these issues, and that he and his engineers all know how this can be solved or at least severely mitigated. The problem is obvious: this will slow the car down. Unfortunately for Wolff, Red Bull is both very fast and has limited problems with this issue, proving that Mercedes made a bad design for this year’s F1 car.

    1. I luv chicken
      12th June 2022, 17:36

      I was at once concerned about possible concussion, to drivers, when I saw the post race Danny Ric interview. His description of race events, should bring mandatory post race examination of all drivers. Personally, the look on his face, shaking his head, and his gesticulations to his head leads me to believe he did suffer a concussion.

    2. gangadhar ambali
      12th June 2022, 20:29

      check for concussions in Hockey the Canadian kind.
      That is concussion

      1. Had the chance to recently attend a presentation on concussions primarily related to cycling.
        Bottom line from the presenter, “There is no such thing as a minor concussion. All concussions are brain injuries and need to be treated as such.”

  6. I’ll bet they’ll already have their active suspension ready on their shelf. Putting some acts up add trying to confince the FIA.

    They’ve made a design error with the W13. Just accept it allready. Only way to reduce porpoising is adjust the ride hight higher and go slower or lower and go faster. Their choice.

    1. Thanks @Slimmie205 for your expertise on the situation of the race car that you have only seen on TV footage and low-res photos on the web. I am sure rather than trying to develop a solution, Mercedes engineers will take your advice, accept defeat and use one of the solutions you listed above. Also very gracious of you to give them 2 options to pick from, very pragmatic and scientific.

  7. Bla, bla, bla. Nobody cares what they saying. Wolff it is your problem and solve it and act like a real man. If you are running out of ideas then admit you are wrong. Your car is rubbish.

    Stop crying, stop playing on other people’s emotions. However, I worry whether the FIA will be able to handle this. It is a weak organisation that has already acted in favour of Mercedes more than once.

    1. Lando described it rather clearly post race. McLaren can go faster as well but then the effect will increase. So its Mercs choice. I agree FIA has the perception against them on the topic of being influenced by Mercedes. Judging from the proceedings last year. I hope it is not carried over into this season.

  8. Adam (@rocketpanda)
    12th June 2022, 16:27

    I think petitioning the FIA to ‘do something’ about the porpoising is probably right if it’s specific to the design of these new cars but when Mercedes could quite comfortably alter the design to mitigate that – albeit going slower in the process and won’t do it while other cars struggle but nowhere near as bad as them, then I just think they should just keep quiet and modify their car, even if it does make them slower.

    Also I really have no doubt Hamilton will be in the car next race. It seems so weird to get such intense apologies from Wolff to Hamilton while the other car’s consistently in the top 5.

    1. the reason his getting apologies is cause his the one doing the testing. merc is still in the testing phase

      1. Can’t believe anyone with any knowledge of F1 believed that nonsense……

      2. @lucifer Yeah about that…we were talking about this before the weekend here, the concept that LH is supposedly doing the experimenting. So to me, even if that is the case, I find it hard to believe at this point that there is that much drastically different that they could be doing to one car over the other, especially given that GR’s car is porpoising to the same degree or nearly.

        Hey I’m willing to accept that perhaps LH was having more of it, and he certainly seemed more bothered by it, although he can be a drama queen as we know too, so to me I think it is obvious now especially after this race that the experiments are not working, LH continues to lag behind GR, and to what end? If this is hurting LH literally physically as well as with laps times I think it is time to stop the experimenting for LH and give GR a go and LH a break so that LH can have less pain and more pace, if that indeed is the reality there. Or, this experiment talk is really just a way to be gentle on LH’s fans for lagging behind GR.

        1. @robbie Russell has repeatedly said the car is painful to drive. He’s younger and his body has gone through far less stress than Lewis’s. So maybe he does feel it less. Is that such a difficult concept to grasp? The onus is on Mercedes to resolve the porpoising, nobody else.

          1. Max talked with George in the cooling room and what i heard Max was asking about George feet and George was saying it was very painfull.

    2. If HAAS had built a car that porpoised too much, people wouldn’t care or tell them to raise the ride height. We certainly wouldn’t be looking at changing the regulations for them.

    3. If Hamilton isn’t lying about “something cold” and his getting out of the car isn’t overacting, he’ll most probably won’t be in the car come Montreal. That sounds a lot like a herniatic disk or sciatica. Racing in a bouncing car would be asking for a wheel chair.

      1. Hmm I do know that can be extremely painful so I think if it were the case we’d have seen more obvious signs of that during the interview time after the race.

      2. Hamilton has been known to shall we say over dramatize at times such as last year in Hungary when he acted like he could barely step up to the podium.
        I’m sure he is hurting but I don’t believe as much as he is letting on.
        It could be he is trying to leave the impression that this is the reason why his teammate is consistently beating him.
        If he is hurting as bad as we saw after the race, there is NO WAY Mercedes should allow him to race next week as he could be going irreversible damage.
        He drove a great race today but I don’t see how it would be possible if his condition is as bad as claimed.

      3. There is a real possibility that the track in Montreal will be rough and undulating.
        This is Canada and frost damage goes deep and resulting movement of the road surface is not consistent.
        Expect to see bumps that weren’t there in the last race …. which was three years ago.

  9. Whichever regular reserve will attend the event, although I’m sure Hamilton can drive in the end.

  10. Prashanth Ramadas
    12th June 2022, 16:53

    It is very tough to watch F1 drivers drive these cars more.

  11. playstation361
    12th June 2022, 16:54

    It is very tough to watch F1 drivers drive these cars more.

  12. Oh the drama!

  13. Mercedes did a bad job as a constructor. They had a shot at it and missed. Bad for them.

  14. Brooklyns Finest
    12th June 2022, 17:19

    I cannot believe Mercedes would be risking their biggest assets short term and long term health instead of increasing the ride height. The FIA should be punishing them for putting their drivers health in jeopardy.

  15. IfImnotverymuchmistaken
    12th June 2022, 17:30

    I think this clearly underlines Hamilton’s lack of motivation. If the car was going through the same amount of porpoising while winning races he’d propbably say that it was tough, but woth it.
    Along with his desire to retire the car after losing on a first couple of laps tha last race around, I’d say he has no patience to drive a difficult car that can’t comqete for wins. Some would symphatise, but I say he’s paid generously to drive the car given to him as fast as he can, and if he doesn’t like it, he is free to retire and give the place to some other driver who would appreciate it.
    However, I do think it’s all talk, and when push comes to shove he’ll be in that car, bouncing, complaining, and driving as fast as he can.

    1. I see this as another narrative for Lewis to make an exit at the end or mid way the season. Maybe he is not confident he will ever be able to beat George. He had a stellar run given the right package. It’s another thing when you actually have to fight a car and help the team improve it. I noticed Lewis isn’t very spatial aware (asking what car was in front of him) either and leaves the strategy much up to the team. I guess it wasn’t necessary for him to concern himself over these things when you always lead from the front and have a Bottas as wingman. I really feel sorry it unfolds they way it does as I still regard him one of the better drivers out there. I would rather see him acknowledging he might be one of the best drivers but at the same time have also be incredibly lucky with the team dominance all these years. Now it comes across like he is just looking for excuses.

      1. Given Mercedes complaints on the issue towards the FIA it is now clear it is all theatrical from Lewis in order to persuade FIA to step in. Mind games again. I understand the stakes but am not the kind of viewer that can appreciate off-track antics. It was the reason last year was the low point ever in F1. Let’s not hope it happens again. I realise it is just my opinion and others feel it is part of the game and sport, but as said I watch to see the best athlete win, not the one that plays the political game best.

  16. I think this is all just something Mercedes have made a decision to push publicly to save their season, hence why the increased comments from Toto Wolff in interviews regarding porpoising, Lewis making comments on the radio during the race, it’s not a coincidence. They’re hoping the FIA do something as a result of their increased focus on the porposing. Would eat my hat if Lewis was actually injured and sat out the next race.

    1. I am afraid you are right and also 100% convinced he will drive in Canada

  17. petebaldwin (@)
    12th June 2022, 17:52

    Nice for the reserve driver…. “Our car is so rough to drive that Hamilton is now injured and can’t compete so do you fancy a go? Don’t worry, your insurance will pay for the medical bills afterwards.”

    1. And we don’t guarantee you will walk out of the car on your own.

    2. Ahah, true, didn’t think of it this way!

  18. I wish he stopped publicly saying the car is a ****box. Wonder why all the team members feel about that… sure, the car isn’t optimal, but it’s not a ****box. Those kind of boxes don’t finish on the podium…

  19. The last time he let someone else drive his car, his replacement made him look ordinary by almost winning a race. The last thing he would want is de Vries putting in some good times in his car without complaint. Toto can’t protect him from everything.

    1. Ordinary? You mean his replacement almost won a race, like he had done 10 times before in the same dominant car?

  20. Would be good if FIA mandated max amount of spine injuring bouncing still allowed.

    It is a driver health issue, and something needs to be done about it.

    Teams as they should, will always prioritise performance.

    FiA must step in and mandate how much acceleration events, amplitude,, frequency, etc is still safe.

    Then teams will lift their cars and go slower.. But also not hurt their driver as much.

    Would be a real shame and major financial damage to the sport if Lewis say.. Were to retire with spine damage.

    But i hope it won’t come that far before something is done about this.

  21. The comments section more and more becomes a dumb Lewis and Merc hate club.

    1. @romtrain how? This is a design issue and Merc did the design. That’s a fact, not a hate.

      1. I cant help if you r unable to read

    2. petebaldwin (@)
      12th June 2022, 20:28

      As opposed to the dumb Max and Red Bull hate club you’re in?

      1. I would not say, I hate RBR or VER. I dislike the overaggressive yield-or-crash driving of his, and the divebombs, as this is not a professionell way of driving. And I prefer the Merc fairplay strat to the RBR wingman strat.

        But the hateclub against Merc and HAM here just gets out of bounds it seems. Probably the downside of a decade of success, to have so many dullheaded armchair experts and anti-fans.

        1. Mate do you even read what you write. If you think Bottas wasnt a wingman in that Merc then no one will take you seriously.

        2. petebaldwin (@)
          13th June 2022, 11:12

          And I wouldn’t say others hate Mercedes or Lewis. They dislike his over-dramatisation of things and the hypocrisy of Mercedes having nailed the last engine regulations to a point where anyone running a non-Mercedes engine in 2014 was completely out of the picture and yet now that they’re the ones who are struggling with the new regs, they are desperate for the FIA to do something to help them out.

          They can run their cars in a way that doesn’t injure their drivers but they are choosing not to. That’s entirely on them.

  22. I’m available and my back is already knackered.

    Waiting for your call, Toto.

  23. In 7 years no complaints. (In the mean time Ferrari tried to cheat) In the 8th year they started to get opposition, now they are in problems and they want to change the rules because they build a wreck of a car. No Way.

  24. The pain of watching your new younger team mate getting his third podium of the season is bugger. Happy retirement LH103

    1. Oh bugger.. I meant to write “Bigger”

  25. Teams with normal sidepods are managing it better.

  26. Mark in Florida
    12th June 2022, 20:54

    Mercs car is an engineering white elephant. It looked great on paper but in reality it doesn’t work at all. Kinda like McLaren’s zero side pod idea that caused so many problems. They possibly need to use the preseason side pod design. Whatever direction they go they have to tame that porpoising. I feel sorry for Lewis, his back is obviously hurting him badly. Russell’s car is bouncing but Lewis’s somehow looks worse to me. 6.5 gs. is a lot of vertical slamming up and down. It’ll be a miracle if Lewis can drive on such a short bit of rest. I wonder if there is any way they could borrow Bottas, not that he would give up his car for the bouncing Merc.

  27. We don’t hear that narrative of “We’ve done a better job and it’s up to the competition to raise their game” anymore of Mercedes. Strangely Toto is starting to lobby the FIA for rule change in his team’s favour at the same time his personal advisor jumped ship and become the interim secretary of the sport.

    Oops ! I forgot that I shouldn’t have dared to criticize Mercedes pathetic behaviour, many will get offended here…

    1. @tifoso1989 The criticism of the team is fair indeed. I only take exception to blaming the drivers given that as employees their options are probably more limited (too complaining a lot in public as we’ve heard).

      1. I don’t know.
        Lewis is a grown man, he doesn’t have to prove anything anymore. He can easily say the car is a danger to drive and refuse to drive it. There will always be haters, but most people (also not fans) will respect that.
        It’s mostly up to the team/Toto, but the drivers also bear some responsibility.

        1. Sure, it’s his ultimate option – or he can get his physio to say racing is out of the question – but drivers, especially those at a team a long time like Lewis, also have feel obligations to their engineers and other staff at the team and for their sake would be reluctant to just bail out.

      2. @david-br ofcourse no driver worth his salt would opt to drive a slower car than a unforgiving setup which gives performance. I suspected Baku to be the worst race for Mercedes and thats what precisely happened. In a bid to push and learn their problems they might have pushed a lot and crossed the line and it is Team at fault no questions asked.

        As for the team, even if this concept work for them in tracks like France and Silverstone (everyone will forget about Baku and say Mercedes are back just like Spain) , the moment they go to bumpier track they loose performance. So what is the point with holding on this concept when all it would do is bring them close to RedBull, Ferrari, not be significantly ahead of them, since they are improving their car too.

        1. @illusive I tend to agree, over the years Mercedes have been focused primarily on straight speed and high-speed corners, rather than a more Ferrari-like adaptability or the handling of the Red Bull. This concept seems in a similar vein, streamlining the pods for maximum speed, which they can’t achieve due to the porpoising. Stiffening the car up to solve some of the latter then makes the bumpier circuits a nightmare.

  28. Was it just me who thought Hamilton was hamming it up (pardon the pun) there? It just always looks like he feels he’s the one doing everything in a team while the others don’t? “Expecting too much of me”, “I don’t know what else I could have done out there” etc etc plus the whole getting out of the car as if he’d just run two back to back marathons?

    1. Yes, he always seems to act as if thinks he’s playing a starring role in his own movie, the underdog that overcomes all the odds stacked against him etc. Completely out of touch.

      1. It’s not just you. I was reminded of a race in the heat that he ran away with for the win in his dominant car and then got out and kneeled against his rear tire like he was exhausted, while all the other drivers were walking around like they hadn’t broken a sweat. Lol Villeneuve even commented on that at the time.

        1. @robbie You mean when he was recovering from long-Covid last year? He said he only properly recovered later in the season. He’s had these post-race exhaustion moments too, like one qualifying session where he beat Bottas, just, for pole and was completely drained after. Difficult to fake and why would you? Well I guess you all think different.

          1. @david-br No this was pre-pandemic.

  29. It’s not hard to figure out.
    Merc went with an extreme design concept that no-one else did in the hope it would be fast. Everyone else played it safe with relatively similar, conventional design concepts. Most of the middle and back running teams have no complaints of porpoising or “bottoming out” now as Merc are calling it. The only front running team, Ferrari, seem to be suffering on a similar level, but as they are a front running team, the drivers are prepared to put up with it for a chance of winning/podiums. Even Bottas in the AR said they have no issues. Alpine were by far the fastest cars down the straight today and they had very little bouncing from what I could see.
    So just accept your gamble of the extreme design concept failed and you need to re-deploy the old chassis we all saw in the first winter testing. Had this design concept worked and was 1 sec a lap faster than anyone else and RBR and Ferrari were complaining, I’m pretty sure we all know what Toto’s response would have been.

    It’s very simple, change the car to a more regular design concept that has been proven to work by other teams.

    1. I agree pretty much. I think they just need to accept that this car concept is never going to work well enough. OK the car is reliable and looks capable of getting decent places between 3rd and 6th. It’s never going to be a championship challenger though.

      I think Merc just need to accept this now. Make the car more comfortable for the drivers and concentrate on their car 2023 car.

  30. Threatening that HAM may be missing the next race could be a clever way for Merc to get some change in regulations.

    The promoters, F1, TV etc will want him in the car.

  31. Hamilton will be in Sainz seat next year. Mercedes has lost too many employees the last few years which is obvious since they have no answer for this issue.

    1. No he won’t be in Sainz seat. Ferrari doesn’t want him and they never did. He’s stuck where he is at for good or bad. He is getting beat by his teammate in the same car.

      1. Verstappen must be a lot less talented than Russell then given Hamilton was due to win the championship last season until the finale got Masi-ed. (I don’t really think that, but if you belittle one of the best drivers the way you’re doing, it reflects worse, not better, on their rivals.)

        1. Fs1455@yahoo.com
          13th June 2022, 0:46

          I’m not belittling him. It’s a fact, if Ferrari wants a driver they get him. They never made a serious attempt to get Hamilton or he would’ve signed with them. Several times he mentioned red was his favorite color. Of course he is a great driver, but there are a lot of young guns coming up that are excellent drivers. He is finding that out now.

          1. OK, maybe I read you wrong, sorry. It does seem possible Ferrari never made a real effort, also possible that they didn’t want to receive a ‘no’ and Hamilton wasn’t signalling (or signalling enough) that he was determined to move to them.
            As for the other drivers, I’d be more cautious in the conclusion drawn from Hamilton being beaten by Russell this season (which he is), at least until they have a properly functioning car that both actually want to drive. Among other factors, Russell is presumably a lot happier that he’s at least getting podiums. Hamilton is used to winning and probably more concerned about resolving the car issues so they (he) can do so again, which would explain him going for more radical setups to try to find a solution.

    2. @jimfromus I just read a quote in recent days from LH saying he will only ever be a Mercedes F1 driver. Besides, he doesn’t have time to adapt to a new team and they to him. As well, with what CL is doing at Ferrari they don’t need to pay 50 mill for LH.

      1. Yeah he says that because he knows Ferrari doesn’t need him. Of course he would have liked to drive for Ferrari. That is the most glamorous team in all of motorsport. All drivers would like to wear red at some point in their career.

  32. They better get a whole crew of reserve drivers if both drivers are saying the car is basically dangerous and undriveble. I guess at some point they raise it up and settle for fighting for p10.

    Besides jackhammering the ground on the straights it was shocking how slow they were in top speed. Cars were just pulling away even they where right behind with DRS open. That had to be depressing to work the whole lap to be right behind and then get dropped on the straight.

  33. The only thing the FIA should do is fit sensors to all cars to measure the g force of the vertical loads when bouncing. If its over a certain amount that is deemed unhealthy, that car has to be driven at a certain ride height or its black flagged for being unsafe. It would be completely unfair on those teams were porpoising isn’t so bad and that have built cars during a budget cap if there was a rule change halfway through the season. Mclaren said today that they’d have been as quick as merc if they ran the car as low as they did but knew it would bounce

  34. Personally I think they should give up on this year’s car and put George and Lewis on the same setup. George has been getting some pretty decent results and a few podiums. Surely Lewis should be able to do this as well.

    They cannot have a car which is causing potential serious, long term injury to their drivers. So just potentially raise the ride height and just settle for the car being slower. It’s been 8 races and this car concept clearly doesn’t work.

  35. I have an opinion
    13th June 2022, 2:51

    Is there any technical regulation disallowing sprung seats?

    1. Or a high-performance vibration-dampening non-combustible foam?

  36. If Mercedes continues like this, maybe FIA can do something. Just give them the ability to change drivers during a race. There are a ton of drivers waiting for a shot in F1.
    Joke aside, this is unacceptable behaviour from Mercedes and must by stopped. Accept what the car can or cannot do and continue trying to fix it.

  37. In Sky post race, Karun showed Mercedes are running significantly lower ride height than RedBull, the flex in the Merc floor is too much. Clearly this problem is due to Mercs taking performance decisions.

  38. justin bridou
    13th June 2022, 9:58

    They should go with Vandoorne. Was by-passed last year as reserved driver and he will deliver for sure.

  39. And the Oscar goes to…

    13th June 2022, 12:24

    Only one solution for a driver that ages out

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