Lewis Hamilton said his Mercedes felt it was “getting worse” after struggling in Friday’s two practice sessions ahead of Sunday’s Canadian Grand Prix.
Hamilton is in the unusual position of sixth in the drivers’ standings, eight races after eight races in what has been a tough 2022 season so far, already 88 points behind rival and defending champion Max Verstappen.
The seven-time world champion finished fourth in Azerbaijan last week, while team-mate George Russell was third but described the race as the “most painful” of his career after suffering from severe back pain throughout.
Hamilton’s discomfort, in which he struggled to leave his car after the finish, was caused by the team’s W13 car bouncing unevenly.
The FIA confirmed on Thursday it had issued a technical briefing to teams to provide guidance on how to deal with the porpoise problem going forward, with a number of drivers complaining about the impact.
But Mercedes continues to struggle in Montreal.
After Friday’s practice, Hamilton summed up his day: “Pretty much like every Friday for us, tried a lot of different things, an experimental floor on my side that didn’t work.
“Nothing we’re doing on this car in general seems to be working, so we’re trying different setups; me and george have raced very different setups in this p2 just to see if one way works and one way doesn’t. I’ll wait to hear how it made him feel, but for me it was a disaster.
“It’s like the car is getting worse, it’s getting less and less satisfied the more we work on it. I don’t know, we’ll keep working on it; it is what it is. I think this is the car of the year, so we just have to get through it and work hard to build a better car for next year.”
Mercedes has won each of the last eight F1 Constructors’ Championships and is third overall in 2022, 118 points behind leaders Red Bull.
“It’s not the Montreal that I know, that I’m used to and that I’ve experienced in my career,” Hamilton added, and can try to make a difference.
“But basically it’s just the basics of the car, it is what it is. It’s going to be a fight.
“It’s just a monumental struggle all the time to keep it off the wall.
“When it bounces, when the car often takes off the ground, and then when it lands, it grabs and it goes in different directions, and you’re just trying to catch a car that jumps, hops, grabs, hops, grabs. … it’s tough, it keeps you going. And there were some big hits today. We lifted the car but it doesn’t make a difference.”
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