Mercedes admit they pushed Lewis Hamilton ‘too far’ at Azerbaijan Grand Prix: ‘We simply can’t do that again’

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Mercedes admit they pushed Lewis Hamilton ‘too far’ at Azerbaijan Grand Prix: ‘We simply can’t do that again’
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Mercedes have admitted they pushed seven-time world champion Lewis Hamilton too far at last weekend’s Azerbaijan Grand Prix.

Hamilton described the race as the toughest and most painful of his career, the porpoising of his car giving him a serious back issue.

And Mercedes put up their hands to admit they were at fault for Hamilton’s physical problems as they pushed the limit of the car in Baku.

The team’s chief strategist James Vowles said: “Lewis is an elite athlete that will push the bounds of endurance of himself and the car, and that’s what Formula 1 drivers do, that’s what makes them exceptional.

“On this occasion, though, we pushed the package and our drivers too far. We are putting them into significant discomfort and we simply can’t do that again. We have a responsibility now to make sure that this doesn’t carry on.”

Hamilton and team principal Toto Wolff initially cast doubt on his participation in this weekend’s Canadian Grand Prix before insisting he would take up his place on the grid despite the injury.

The street circuits of Baku and Monaco have proved a chastening experience for the defending constructors’ champions after getting on top of many of their issues at the Spanish Grand Prix.

In Barcelona, they were the quickest race car at points but Vowles warned Mercedes would again be off the pace of both the Ferraris and Red Bulls in Canada.

“I think we still have a package that isn’t at the front on merit,” he said. “Red Bull and Ferrari will still be the benchmark that we have to compare ourselves to. I think, though, that the large gap you saw in qualifying in Baku perhaps won’t be that big in Montreal.”

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