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Leclerc settles for ‘best decision’ after picking up 10-place grid penalty in Canada

Lewis Hamilton said his Mercedes felt “worse” after struggling in both Friday practice sessions ahead of Sunday’s Canadian Grand Prix.

Hamilton is in the unknown position of sixth in the Drivers’ Championship, already 88 points behind rival and defending champion Max Verstappen eight races in what has been a difficult 2022 campaign so far.

The seven-time world champion finished fourth last week in Azerbaijan, with team-mate George Russell finishing third, but called the race “the most painful” of his career after suffering severe back pain.

Hamilton’s discomfort, which saw him struggle to get out of his car after finishing, was caused by the team’s W13 car porpoising, bouncing unevenly.

The FIA ​​confirmed on Thursday that it has issued a technical directive to teams to provide guidance on how the porpoising issue will be dealt with in the future, with a number of drivers complaining about its effects.

But Mercedes continued to struggle in Montreal.

After practice on Friday, Hamilton summed up his day: “Pretty much like every Friday for us, trying a lot of different things, experimental ground on my side that didn’t work.

“Nothing we usually do on this car seems to work, so we’re trying different setups; George and I have gone for very different setups in this P2 just to see if one way works and another doesn’t. I’ll wait. to hear what it felt like to him, but to me it was a disaster.

“It’s like the car is getting worse, it’s getting more and more unhappy the more we do it. I don’t know, we’ll keep working on it, that’s what it is. I think it’s car of the year, so we’ll just have to endure and work hard to build a better car for next year.”

Having won each of F1’s last eight constructors’ championships, Mercedes are third in the 2022 standings, behind leaders Red Bull by 118 points.

“It’s not the Montreal that I know, that I’m used to and that I’ve known in my career,” added Hamilton. can try to make some changes.

“But basically it’s just the fundamentals of the car, it’s what it is. It’s going to be a struggle.

“It’s just a monumental fight the whole time to keep him off the wall.

“When it bounces, when the car leaves the ground a lot, then when it lands, it grabs and it goes different directions, and you just try to catch a car that jumps, jumps, hooks, jumps, s “Holding on…it’s hard, it keeps you on your toes. And there were some big hits today. We lifted the car up, but it doesn’t make a difference.”