RACING

Daniel Ricciardo sympathizes with Lewis Hamilton’s ‘really uncomfortable’ back injury at Azerbaijan Grand Prix

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The first practice for the Canadian GP in Montreal takes place on Friday with full coverage of the weekend live on Sky Sports F1. Coverage of the Canadian GP begins at 5.30pm on Sunday evening with lights out at 7pm.

Last update: 06/16/22 1:29 p.m.

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Daniel Ricciardo says F1 drivers shouldn’t have to suffer ‘unnecessarily’

Daniel Ricciardo insists Lewis Hamilton hasn’t exaggerated the extent of his back injury after the Azerbaijan Grand Prix, saying Formula 1 drivers don’t deserve to endure ‘unnecessary’ pain.

Hamilton’s participation in the Canadian Grand Prix – live on Sky Sports F1 from Friday to Sunday – has been thrown into doubt after he needed help getting out of his Mercedes cockpit after last weekend’s race on the streets from Baku.

The 37-year-old is expected to be fit to drive, but he’ll likely have to push through the pain barrier again in his bouncy Mercedes machine.

Red Bull team principal Christian Horner has claimed Hamilton was instructed by ‘b****’ over Mercedes’ porpoising issues, hoping to push through a rule change.

Lewis Hamilton says he was praying for the end of the race after suffering severe back pain after his Mercedes porpoised during the Azerbaijan Grand Prix

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Lewis Hamilton says he was praying for the end of the race after suffering severe back pain after his Mercedes porpoised during the Azerbaijan Grand Prix

Lewis Hamilton says he was praying for the end of the race after suffering severe back pain after his Mercedes porpoised during the Azerbaijan Grand Prix

However, McLaren driver Ricciardo said: “There was talk about Lewis after the race. I saw some of his vehicles on board, I saw pictures of him getting out of the car and stretching his back, and he Don’t overdo it, it really was uncomfortable.

“The good thing is that it’s very visible. If you have car audio you can hear it jumping and bouncing, and from the footage you can also see that the headset is moving.

“It’s neither normal nor comfortable. The position we’re sitting in the car, we don’t have a lot of room to move, so we’re not prepared for impacts.

“Whether it’s down to a rule change, or how the teams set up the cars, I’m not 100 per cent sure – but I wouldn’t like anyone to suffer unnecessary injury or pain.

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“We’ve talked about it throughout the season, but Baku being so important, I’m sure it will be discussed at the drivers’ briefing on Friday.”

Hamilton has finished behind teammate George Russell in every round since race one and leads him by 37 points in the standings.

The seven-time world champion was also thrown 88 points behind Max Verstappen, but Ricciardo added: “I really think Lewis is as capable as ever.

“We all knew George was fast, and it was how fast is he? How good is he? And he’s proving he’s very good.

Lewis Hamilton needed help getting out of his car after the Azerbaijan GP

Lewis Hamilton needed help getting out of his car after the Azerbaijan GP

“But I also wouldn’t count Lewis for having the ability to win this weekend, for example. I don’t think he’s lost anything, not at all.”

Eight-time race winner Ricciardo is under pressure to deliver this weekend, after a disappointing season and a half with McLaren.

Zak Brown, the British team’s CEO, recently said the former Red Bull driver – whose contract with McLaren runs until the end of 2023 – had failed to live up to his expectations.

Martin Brundle thinks that it is up to Mercedes rather than the FIA ​​to solve their problems of

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Martin Brundle believes it is up to Mercedes rather than the FIA ​​to solve their “porpoising” problems this season.

Martin Brundle believes it is up to Mercedes rather than the FIA ​​to solve their “porpoising” problems this season.

Ricciardo said: “I would be more surprised if I came, say, 13th, and everyone is like, ‘Dan kills him this year’.

“I know the team cares about me and so there’s an expectation. With Zak’s comment I’m well aware of what I’m doing and take it as a backhanded compliment as he also thinks I can do better.

“I’m my biggest critic and I don’t take it to heart. A little pressure is fine – it’s not something I take personally or negatively.”

The first practice for the Canadian GP in Montreal takes place on Friday with full coverage of the weekend, live on Sky Sports F1. Coverage of the Canadian GP begins at 5.30pm BST on Sunday evening with lights out at 7pm.

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