Lewis Hamilton is a doubt for next week's Formula One Grand Prix in Canada, after suffering with serious back problems during the Azerbaijan race.
Hamilton's struggles continued on Sunday afternoon in Baku, as Mercedes continued to be far behind Red Bull and Ferrari on pace.
It wasn't his position in the race that was as much of a problem with the seven time drivers' world champion finishing fourth, but this time it was the physical struggle that proved an issue.
Mercedes difficulties have come from the car 'porpoising' as it drives, meaning it bounces up and down more than the usual across the track.
It had been sorted somewhat recently but the bumpy nature of Baku's street track meant the problems were worse this weekend for Hamilton's team than any others.
A radio message with team principal Toto Wolff at the end of the race revealed the extent of the nuisance the 37-year-old was being caused.
"This is a bit of a s***box to drive. And sorry for the back problems," Wolf told his driver.
"Well done guys," the driver said, "And well done on the strategy. Thank you on continuing to push."
However, in his post match interview, the former McLaren driver was not quite as happy, saying, "The only thing was biting down my teeth with pain and just adrenaline.
"I cannot express the pain you experience, especially on the straight here. In the end you are just praying for it to end.
"We are in such a good position still in 3rd and 4th. It is a great result and the team did well with the strategy. Once we fix this bouncing we will be right in the race because we are losing for sure a second just with bouncing."
And Wolf revealed that he might need to call up a reserve driver to take Hamilton's seat in Montreal at next weekend's Canadian grand prix.
"Yeah definitely," the team boss said when asked if Hamilton was a doubt.
"You can see that it is not muscular, it goes properly deep into the spine and there are some consequences. The solution could be to have someone on reserve, which we do at any race."
Despite the problems for Mercedes, they still managed to grab a podium finish, with George Russell finishing third and continue his run of being the only driver to finish in the top five in every race.
They were helped by Ferrari's double DNF, as first Carlos Sainz and then Charles Leclerc had to retire in the race, the latter from a leading position.
Unfortunately for Hamilton, he isn't able to fix his back just by slapping some gaffer tape on it, which is exactly what Alpha Tauri did with Yuki Tsunoda's car.
Featured Image Credit: Alamy
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