Toto Wolff admits Lewis Hamilton could miss Canadian Grand Prix due to back pain

Toto Wolff has admitted Lewis Hamilton could miss next week's Canadian Grand Prix.

Hamilton battled chronic back issues to finish fourth in Azerbaijan on Sunday. The seven-time world champion suffered with his back all weekend due to the extreme porpoising and bouncing caused by the Mercedes car.

The British driver complained about the issue during the race and needed help getting out of his car in parc ferme. Wolff suggested before lights out in Baku that Hamilton might not make it to the chequered flag. Afterwards, he made the bombshell claim that the Mercedes ace might miss next week's Canadian Grand Prix as a result of his back pain.

Asked if Hamilton is a doubt for Montreal in seven days' time, Wolff admitted: "Yeah definitely. You can see that it is not muscular, it goes properly deep into the spine and there are some consequences.

"He's the one that is probably worst affected. But generally, it also affects George and many others. The solution could be to have someone on reserve, which we anyway have at every race, to make sure that our cars are running."

Wolff's shock admission could open the door for one of Mercedes' reserve drivers. One of Stoffel Vandoorne and Nyck de Vries are usually always on hand to deputise in the event of an incident, even though both also race in Formula E.

After the race, Hamilton offered an honest assessment of the pain he was in during the 51 lap contest – and it didn't make for good listening ahead of next week's visit to Montreal.

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"The only thing," the Brit said. "Biting down on my teeth through pain and just adrenaline. I can’t express the pain that you experience, particularly on the straight here. At the end, you’re just praying for it to end," he added.

Mercedes picked up a good haul of points in Baku, in part thanks to the reliability issues of Ferrari. And while Wolff is happy with how his team performed in Azerbaijan, he knows there is still a lot of work to do.

"Today, it paid off and we leave Baku with a good haul of points but we are under no illusion of the job we have ahead of us to get back to the front," he said.

"There are no holy cows, everything is being looked at and we’ve got a great team trying to solve our issues," the Austrian finished.

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