Mercedes have confirmed Lewis Hamilton will participate in the Canadian Grand Prix, despite the pain and numbness he suffered in Baku last weekend.
“I’m pleased to report that the Lewis is here this morning,” said Vowles in a video released by the team. “I’ve spent a few hours with him and he’s okay. He’ll be back in the car in Montreal.
“He’s an elite athlete that will push the bounds of endurance of himself and the car and that’s what Formula 1 drivers do, that’s what makes them exceptional.”
However, Vowles admitted the team had put too great a strain on its driver with the experimental set-up he ran last weekend which led to severe bouncing on the bumpy straight. “On this occasion we pushed the package and our drivers too far. We are putting them into significant discomfort and we simply can’t do that again.”
Hamilton described it as his “most painful race ever”. Early on in the grand prix he warned his team he thought he was going to crash because his car was so hard to control.
In the latter stages Hamilton said on the radio that his seat had gone cold, despite the race taking place in warm conditions with track temperatures in excess of 45C. Vowles said the cold sensation Hamilton experienced was in fact a consequence of the violent bouncing he suffered.
“I spent a few minutes with Lewis earlier to actually ask him what happened. Nothing really had changed in the car, it just looks like after the amount of pummelling his back had taken from the bouncing, he fundamentally had a numbness that set in and it looks like the cold was a response to that.
“So there wasn’t anything cold in the car. It’s just a response to the amount of endurance and pain he’d been through in the race.”
Vowles pointed out Mercedes was one of several teams whose drivers comments on the poor ride quality they endured in Baku. “Our drivers are not the only ones suffering. You’ll see in the media a number of comments from a number of drivers who are equally in discomfort and pain. And we have a responsibility now to make sure that this doesn’t carry on.”
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