Lewis Hamilton may have to miss next weekend’s Formula 1 Canadian Grand Prix due to back problems. Mercedes team boss Toto Wolff confirmed on Sunday after the Azerbaijan GP that there is “definitely” a chance that the Briton will be absent. As a reserve driver at Mercedes, Stoffel Vandoorne is an option to replace Hamilton – if necessary.
Michiel VerheirstraetenSource: BELGA
Hamilton finished in fourth place in Baku on Sunday in the GP, which Dutch world champion Max Verstappen won. Still, the Brit suffered hard with his sore back. With 22 of 51 rounds to go, he screamed his pain through the radio (“My back is killing me, man.”). Hamilton later admitted it was his “most painful and toughest race ever”.
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“He feels really bad,” Wolff confirmed afterwards. “You can tell this isn’t a muscle problem. It goes straight into the spine and that can have consequences. The solution could be to have someone as a backup, which we have at every GP anyway.”
Stoffel Vandoorne and the Dutch Formula E world champion Nyck de Vries are the reserve drivers at Mercedes and can fill in if Hamilton does not get fit. Vandoorne is also competing in Formula E this season and is currently leading the way.