Hamilton struggled with "massive headache" from COTA bumps

Mercedes Formula 1 driver Lewis Hamilton says he "was feeling horrible" after first practice at Circuit of the Americas, as the bumps gave him a "massive headache".

Hamilton struggled with "massive headache" from COTA bumps

Hamilton needs to finish eighth or above to secure his sixth F1 world championship in the upcoming United States Grand Prix, and got his Austin weekend off to a strong start by setting the pace in Friday practice.

However, the champion-elect revealed he had endured a particularly tough time in the first of the day's two practice sessions, as the bumpy nature of the circuit left him feeling discomfort.

"After the first session I was not feeling good. It was the bumpiest track by far that I've been on. I had such a headache," Hamilton said.

"And for people to understand when we talk about bumpy tracks - bumps are not such a bad thing in some places, because it adds that character to a circuit - so I'm not a fan of completely smooth circuits. But this one is like massive, massive bumps.

"And the problem for me, for us, is that we don't have much suspension. It's usually your butt on the floor and your spine takes all the compression.

"So I was feeling horrible, I had a massive headache after P1, and had to lay down, was not feeling great."

Hamilton was among a number of drivers taking issue with how bumpy the COTA venue is this year, with Sergio Perez deeming it "just not acceptable" and Max Verstappen saying he was wary of back pain as a consequence.

Valtteri Bottas in the other Mercedes W10 likewise acknowledged the surface as an issue, admitting he's "never experienced a track this bumpy".

Hamilton says he "wasn't feeling as bad" in the second practice - which he topped - after Mercedes made some tweaks to his W10.

But the championship leader still has his "fingers crossed" for a more comfortable race, and has admitted that rival Ferrari cars have looked to be coping better with the surface.

"Today has been pretty hardcore. So, I'm sure they [the circuit] make changes for the future, but we just have to drive around it, everyone's in the same boat.

"When you look at the onboards, it's like the Ferrari just sails through - I don't know if they run higher [ride height] or they have a softer suspension, I'm not quite sure."

He concluded the team will "keep working on it" before joking: "I might have to put a pillow in my seat or something."

shares
comments
Perez could face pitlane start after missing weighbridge

Previous article

Perez could face pitlane start after missing weighbridge

Next article

Perez punished with pitlane start for missing weighbridge

Perez punished with pitlane start for missing weighbridge
Load comments
The joy that exposes F1’s key weakness Prime

The joy that exposes F1’s key weakness

Long-awaited wins for ex-Formula 1 drivers Marcus Ericsson and Kevin Magnussen in IndyCar and IMSA last weekend gave F1 a reminder of what it is missing. But with the new rules aimed at levelling the playing field, there’s renewed optimism that more drivers can have a rewarding result when their day of days comes

The F1 figures Red Bull and Mercedes can't afford to see again Prime

The F1 figures Red Bull and Mercedes can't afford to see again

OPINION: An interloper squad got amongst the title contenders during Formula 1’s street-circuit mini-break, where Red Bull left with the points lead in both championships. But, as the campaign heads back to purpose-built venues once again, how the drivers of the two top teams compare in one crucial area will be a major factor in deciding which squad stays in or retakes the top spot

Formula 1
Jun 16, 2021
Why Alfa's boss is up to the task of securing a stronger F1 future Prime

Why Alfa's boss is up to the task of securing a stronger F1 future

Two tenth places in recent races have lifted Alfa Romeo to the head of Formula 1's 'Class C' battle in 2021, but longer-term the Swiss-based squad has far loftier ambitions. With the new 2022 rules set to level out the playing field, team boss Frederic Vasseur has good reason to be optimistic, as he explained to Motorsport.com in an exclusive interview

Formula 1
Jun 15, 2021
How Barnard's revolutionary McLaren transformed F1 car construction Prime

How Barnard's revolutionary McLaren transformed F1 car construction

The MP4/1 was pioneering by choice, but a McLaren by chance. STUART CODLING relates the tangled (carbon fibre) weaves which led to the creation of one of motor racing’s defining cars

Formula 1
Jun 15, 2021
Why the end is nigh for F1’s most dependable design tool Prime

Why the end is nigh for F1’s most dependable design tool

Wind tunnel work forms the bedrock of aerodynamic development in Formula 1. But as Pat Symonds explains, advances in virtual research are signalling the end of these expensive and complicated relics.

Formula 1
Jun 13, 2021
Why Mosley’s legacy amounts to far more than tabloid rumour Prime

Why Mosley’s legacy amounts to far more than tabloid rumour

The newspapers, naturally, lingered over Max Mosley’s tainted family history and niche sexual practices. But this is to trivialise the legacy of a big beast of motor racing politics. Stuart Codling weighs the life of a man whose work for safety on both road and track has saved hundreds of thousands of lives, but whose penchant for cruelty remains problematic and polarising.

Formula 1
Jun 12, 2021
Why pragmatic Perez isn't fazed by no-nonsense Red Bull F1 culture Prime

Why pragmatic Perez isn't fazed by no-nonsense Red Bull F1 culture

Sergio Perez has spent most of his career labouring in Formula 1’s midfield, wondering whether he’d ever get another shot at the big time. Red Bull has handed him that chance and, although life at the top is tough, the Baku winner is doing all the right things to get on terms with Max Verstappen, says BEN ANDERSON

Formula 1
Jun 11, 2021
What the data tells us about the F1 2021 title fight Prime

What the data tells us about the F1 2021 title fight

Formula 1 has been tracking car performance using timing loops mounted every 200m around each circuit – to the extent that it was able to anticipate Ferrari’s 'surprise’ pole in Monaco. PAT SYMONDS explains what this means for this season and beyond

Formula 1
Jun 10, 2021