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I’ll be there – Lewis Hamilton dismisses fears he could miss Canadian Grand Prix

Lewis Hamilton battled through the pain barrier in Baku (Hamad Mohammed/AP).
Lewis Hamilton battled through the pain barrier in Baku (Hamad Mohammed/AP).

Lewis Hamilton says he expects to be able to take part in this weekend’s Canadian Grand Prix.

The 37-year-old struggled to get out of his Mercedes cockpit after he combated back pain in Sunday’s 51-lap Azerbaijan Grand Prix.

Hamilton described the race as the most painful of his career, while Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff said there was a danger the seven-time world champion might not be fit enough to race at Montreal’s Circuit Gilles Villeneuve.

But in a social media post, Hamilton, who finished fourth in Baku and is due at Mercedes’ Brackley factory on Monday, appeared to allay Wolff’s fears.

“I’ll be there this weekend,” he said. “I wouldn’t miss it for the world.”

He added: “Yesterday was tough and I had some troubles sleeping but I have woke up feeling positive today.

“Back is a little sore and bruised but nothing serious thankfully.

“I’ve had acupuncture and physio with Angela [Cullen] and I 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.”

The problem for Hamilton, Mercedes, and a number of the other teams is the new-for-2022 phenomenon of porpoising which sees the car bouncing on its suspension at high speed.

Hamilton’s team-mate George Russell called the new generation of F1 cars “dangerous” and a “recipe for disaster”.

Lewis Hamilton finished fourth in Sunday's Azerbaijan Grand Prix
Lewis Hamilton finished fourth in Sunday’s Azerbaijan Grand Prix (Sergei Grits/AP)

But rival team boss Christian Horner has accused Mercedes of exploiting safety concerns as a means to put pressure on the sport’s regulator, the FIA.

Red Bull lead both the drivers’ and constructors’ championship with Max Verstappen heading team-mate Sergio Perez home in Baku on Sunday to win for a fifth time this season.

Verstappen is 21 points clear of Perez in the standings, and 34 points ahead of Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc.

“It is part of the game,” said Horner. “If I was them, I would tell the drivers to bitch as much as they could over the radio and make as big an issue out of it as they possibly could.

“Look, it is uncomfortable but there are remedies. The easiest thing to do is to complain from a safety point of view but each team has a choice.

“If it was a genuine safety concern across the whole grid then it is something that should be looked at, but if it is only affecting isolated people or teams, then that is something that the team should deal with.

“It would seem unfair to penalise the ones who have done a decent job versus the ones who have missed the target.”