Lewis Hamilton on Friday welcomed the FIA’s intervention to overcome ‘porpoising’ on health and safety grounds and said any steps taken were unlikely to affect the grid for Sunday’s Canadian Grand Prix. The seven-time champion’s comments came after world champion and current leader Max Verstappen said he opposed the introduction of any mid-season rule changes. The governing International Motoring Federation (FIA) said on Thursday it would take steps to beat the phenomenon that has left many drivers suffering severe back pain this season.
Hamilton’s Mercedes team said he had suffered up to 6G in vertical forces in his car during last Sunday’s race in Azerbaijan, making it painful to race and difficult to climb out of the car afterwards.
The FIA plan to monitor the vertical forces closely in Friday’s practice sessions ahead of introducing new safety rules on car set-up.
Hamilton said he was glad to see the FIA taking action to protect drivers as a priority.
“It’s always interesting seeing people’s perspectives and opinions in different lights,” he told reporters.
“I think safety is the most important thing. And I think there at least one driver in every team has spoken on it.”
He added Mercedes were trying a range of experiments to solve their performance problems.
“You’ll see today, for example, something relatively extreme,” he explained.
“If it doesn’t work, it’s definitely a lot slower because it’s got less down-force.
“But that’s my role and I take the responsibility seriously — and whilst, yes, it’s not been ideal on some weekends, often setting us back because we lost a session or two, that’s OK, because eventually we’ll get there and I’m proud to be a part of that process.
“I’d like to think I’m the best team-mate I’ve ever been — to George, but also to all the engineers and everyone working in the factory.”
Team-mate George Russell said he felt “the vertical loads are far beyond what you’d expect is safe to deal with.”
Local hero Lance Stroll of Aston Martin said: “It has been very bad and both porpoising and the stiffness are things the FIA needs to address because it’s not sustainable.”
Four-time champion Sebastian Vettel, his team-mate, said: “It can’t be that us drivers should suffer injury, short or long term, or possibly for the rest of our lives.
“Every sport to the extreme is not healthy, but it cannot go on for another four or five years like this so it’s good the FIA is looking into it.”
(This story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)
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