Mercedes: What’s gone wrong at the F1 and can they recover?
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Lewis Hamilton has hinted that he could quit F1 if Mercedes’ porpoising issues are not fixed by the end of next year. The Mercedes star said “only time will tell” if it will play a factor in his decision to remain or leave the sport.
The seven-time champion admitted he “imagined” the issue would be fixed by the end of next season when his current contract comes to an end. Hamilton hopes the porpoising is not something that will determine his future but failed to deny it would not be an issue.
When asked if the issues could prevent him from signing a new contract on health grounds, Hamilton responded: “Well, I meant I imagined we’re going to get this fixed over by the end of next year, at least. So hopefully, that’s not going to be something determined from racing longer, but time will tell.”
Hamilton has already addressed his future this season after rumours the star could be set to quit the sport.
Several pundits have predicted Hamilton could walk away as he comes to terms with Mercedes’ new status as the third-fastest car. However, the seven-time champion defended the team, claiming it wasn’t in his DNA to quit.
Posing a cryptic message on Instagram, Hamilton also said he would decide when his masterpiece was finished. However, most of these assurances came towards the start of the season before he began suffering from severe back pains.
The issue appeared to worsen in Azerbaijan with Hamilton stressing his back was “killing him” during the race. He was also seen struggling to leave his car after the race and has since admitted he is taking painkillers as a result of the damage.
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Ahead of the Canadian Grand Prix, the Briton also claimed he was worried about the long-term risks to drivers’ health. After FP3 on Friday, Hamilton also criticised his team as he branded his car “so bad” and said the changes the team had done were a “disaster”.
He said: “This car is now undriveable. The car is so bad. Nothing we do to this car generally seems to work… It’s like the car is getting worse, it’s getting more and more unhappy the more we do to it. We will keep working on it. It is what it is. I think this is the car for the year [and it won’t improve]. We will have to tough it out and work hard on building a better car for next year.”
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