Lewis Hamilton finished the Formula 1 race in Baku in fourth place. But in the end he doesn't really care about the points. The 37-year-old is just happy "that it's over". With great pain he gets out of his Mercedes. He had previously hopped over the street circuit. A real problem.
For Lewis Hamilton, the Formula 1 race in Baku has become a very painful experience. The seven-time world champion was only able to leave his Mercedes with difficulty after crossing the finish line. The 37-year-old complained of headaches and back pain. "I gritted my teeth. In the end, you just pray that it's over," Hamilton said. The reason for the Briton's complaints is the heavy hopping of the car on the straights, which has affected the Silver Arrows even more than many of their competitors this season. Mercedes team boss Toto Wolff apologized on the pit radio at Hamilton for the problems with the car. "I'm sorry for the back. We'll solve that," said Wolff.
The technical problem is caused by the vehicles that have changed significantly this season. At high speed, the cars on the straights are pressed onto the ground until they briefly touch the asphalt and are then pushed up again. The drivers are exposed to frequent blows in the cockpit. Despite the difficult-to-drive Mercedes, the team secured a strong result in Azerbaijan. George Russell was third on the podium, Hamilton was fourth.
Even before the race, the bouncing Formula 1 cars had sparked a debate in the paddock. The pilots, explained Wolff on the sidelines of the race, are already in discussions about the question: "Is it a problem for us that we have to deal with regulations that put a physical strain on us in the next few years?"
On the street circuit in Baku, it could already be observed during practice and qualifying that a number of cars became very restless at high speeds and the drivers were frequently hit in the cockpit. "I can only speak for our two drivers. They have problems to a point where not even physiotherapists can help," said the Austrian before the race. Hamilton had already complained of back pain after Friday training. He revealed his back was "really broken" after the workout. Only massage and acupuncture would help him at the moment. "But on Saturday morning I was still in a lot of pain," he had said.