Mercedes chief accepts Lewis Hamilton was pushed too far in costly error at Baku

Mercedes: What’s gone wrong at the F1 and can they recover?

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Mercedes has admitted they pushed Lewis Hamilton and George Russell ‘too far’ at the Azerbaijan Grand Prix as both suffered. Chief strategist Jame Vowles accepts the team are putting their drivers in “significant discomfort” and vowed the team “can’t do that again”. 

He said: “I’m pleased to report that Lewis is here this morning. I’ve spent a few hours with him, and he’s okay. He will 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. 

“On this occasion though we pushed the package and our drivers too far. We are putting them in significant discomfort and we simply can’t do that again. 

“Our drivers are not the only ones suffering. You’ll see in the media a number of comets from a number of drivers who are equally in discomfort and pain. We have a responsibility now to make sure this doesn’t carry on.” 

Hamilton suffered with severe back pain in Baku as Mercedes’ bouncing issues worsened. The seven-time champion was heard screaming to his race engineer during the Grand Prix that his back was “killing” him. 

At the end of the race, Hamilton appeared to struggle to exit his car with Mercedes boss Toto Wolff suggesting he may be unable to drive in Montreal. However, Hamilton has since confirmed he would still take part in this weekend’s Canadian Grand Prix.

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Posting on Instagram, the Mercedes star confirmed he had received some treatment from his physio Angela Cullen for his back pain. He said: “[My] back is a little sore and bruised but nothing serious thankfully.

“I’ve had acupuncture and physio with Ang and am on the way to my team to work with them on improving. We have to keep fighting. No time like the present to pull together and we will.

“I’ll be there this weekend, wouldn’t miss it for the world. Wishing everybody an amazing day and week.” Last night, Hamilton posted an image of him inside the Mercedes simulator with the caption “back to it”. 

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