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today is Dec 07, 2022

Max Verstappen says the injury risk from porpoising is comparable to what competitors in other sports are exposed to.

Several Formula 1 drivers have said the poor ride they are suffering this year, due to porpoising or the stiffness of their set-ups, has significantly increased their discomfort inside the cars. Lewis Hamilton described the Azerbaijan Grand Prix as the most painful he has ever endured.

However Verstappen pointed out injuries are commonplace in other sports and believes F1 drivers should be willing to tolerate similar risks.

“There are a lot of sports out there where I think you damage your body in general,” he said. “Once you retire from your career, you won’t be like you were when you were 20, that’s simply how it is.

“Football players have problems with their knees, all sorts of injuries. Or when you’re a Motocross rider or Moto GP rider, the amount of bones they’ve broken in their body. You can always judge, ‘yeah is that the safest thing to do?’ No, but we are willing to take risk, that’s our sport, that’s what I love to do.”

Verstappen acknowledged the porpoising drivers have encountered is unpleasant but pointed out some teams can control it better than others.

“For sure, the porpoising we have at the moment is not nice and I don’t think is correct. But some teams are able to handle these things a lot better than others, so it is possible to get rid of it. So I don’t think we have to overdramatise what is happening at the moment.”

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However Hamilton insisted the safety of competitors must be the sport’s overriding concern.

“I cannot stress more how important health is for us,” he said. “I think we’ve got an amazing sport here, but the safety has to be paramount, has to be the most important thing.”

He said he “definitely feel like I’m a little bit shorter” after his bruising race in Baku. “My discs are definitely not in the best shape,” he added, “and that’s not good for longevity.

“There are things that we can do to improve that for the drivers here. We want to arrive and do our job and put on a great show and race the safest and there is no need for us to have any injuries.

“So I just think we just need to work closely with the FIA and not take it lightly, which I don’t think they are, and continue to pursue.”

Daniel Ricciardo, who also complained about the punishing ride he suffered in Baku, revealed after Sunday’s Canadian Grand Prix a problem with his car had exacerbated his discomfort during the previous race.

“After Baku I found that we had something broke, so that’s why my bouncing was really bad,” he explained.

“It was better today,” he added. “Before turn eight there’s a few big bumps, which by the end of the race start to get you a little but nothing crazy.”

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2022 Canadian Grand Prix

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