Lewis Hamilton admits Mercedes still suffering porpoising ‘havoc’ ahead of Azerbaijan GP

Lewis Hamilton is “hoping and praying” that Mercedes can soon find a solution for the porpoising problem which continues to plague their cars this season.

The Silver Arrows thought they had got to the bottom of the problem a few weeks ago, even if their performance was still behind their Ferrari and Red Bull rivals. But in the first practice session ahead of this weekend’s Azerbaijan Grand Prix Hamilton was still bouncing around in his seat when the taps were fully open.

It was a problem which had been pre-empted by Hamilton at the Friday morning press conference, when he said he expected the bouncy street circuit in Baku to work against them. The seven-time world champion is hoping a permanent solution might be found by the time the British Grand Prix comes around.

“Every race is an opportunity for us to test something new, so we have something every weekend,” he told reporters. “It doesn’t always work, and the bumps still cause us a bit of havoc. But I mean, Silverstone is a while away. Was it, two more races away?

“So I’m really, really hoping and praying by then at least we’ve got it under control, but I really don’t know whether we will or not. I’m hopeful.” Team-mate George Russell echoed his pessimism over their prospects in Baku this weekend, as minor improvements made in the last two weeks will not “transform” their chances.

“[The car] definitely will be more suited, but I don’t think it’s going to transform our finishing position,” he told Planet F1. “Around Monaco we were six tenths behind, and in Baku we will probably be three tenths behind the front runners we hope, for the best case.”

Lewis Hamilton has endured a frustrating season with Mercedes so far

The Silver Arrows are still playing catch-up to their main rivals after failing to quickly adapt to new technical rules for car designs introduced for this season. While Russell has still managed to find consistency, remarkably finishing in the top five of every race so far this year, Hamilton’s results and pace have been more erratic.

Those result have left the seven-time world champion 34 points adrift of his team-mate in the drivers’ standings, and already 75 points behind his rival from last season Max Verstappen. Unless Mercedes can find dramatic improvement, he is unlikely to be a real contender for his eighth championship this year.

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