Lewis Hamilton needs to spend more time in the gym to combat his physical issues this season, says ex-F1 driver John Watson.
Hamilton complained of severe back pain following the Azerbaijan Grand Prix, saying that he was just “praying for the end" due to his discomfort and that he "couldn't express the pain you experience".
He is not the only driver to have raised the issue this term - caused typically by the cars' lower position to the floor - but former McLaren driver Watson has short shrift with Hamilton's problems.
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“Lewis needs to be careful not to act like a pantomime dame,” Watson told the Daily Mail.
“It is a very difficult car to drive but at 37 [years old] the bones are not as forgiving of an uncomfortable ride.
“This is a whole new world to Lewis. He has had seven or so years when Mercedes have been dominant and it’s perhaps like a seven-year itch. George [Russell] looked pretty fresh afterwards and finished third to Lewis’s fourth.
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“Lewis maybe needs to recalibrate and spend less time in the air and more in the gym.”
As well as the lower position of this season's cars under new F1 regulations, the Mercedes W13 has also been bouncing due to its new design, which makes it bang against the track at an incredibly high speed, something that drivers can feel more markedly on bumpy tracks like the one in Baku.
The problem has also been an issue for Hamilton’s teammate, George Russell, albeit seemingly to a lesser degree.
Mercedes chief Toto Wolff has issued an apology to his drivers but has also called on the FIA to make changes.
“We need to do something on the regulations because he [Hamilton] can't move,” he said after the race.
“The cars are bouncing so much, most of the cars too, that's not good - it doesn't look nice."
Christian Horner, team principal of Red Bull, was critical of Wolff’s assessment however, saying that the bouncing is “part of the game”.
He said: “What’s the easiest thing to do? 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’s something that should be looked at. But if it’s only affecting isolated people or teams, that’s something the team should potentially deal with.
“It would seem unfair to penalise the ones that have done a decent job versus the ones that have perhaps missed the target slightly.”
Hamilton meanwhile has quashed suspicions that he’ll miss the Canadian Grand Prix due to his physical issues.
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