Lewis Hamilton has had a really strange year. The seven-time champion hasn’t won a single race and hasn’t been able to record any pole positions either. This is unfamiliar territory for a driver who is used to sweeping the field. If 2021 ended very badly for him then 2022 has been worse. There has been no trauma, but rather demotivation.
Mercedes did not get the car right. The W13 was not the destructive weapon desired by Lewis. The British driver could not take revenge for what happened at Yas Marina. He was not with the leading group. It wasn’t just the Red Bulls, there were the Ferraris too. The Stevenage driver was not even fighting for the podium.
As the season progressed, the Brackley outfit improved their machine. In the end, Hamilton scored 240 points and took nine podium finishes. Worst of all, his teammate was able to win in that car. George Russell finished ahead of the seven-time champion in the overall standings. He was fourth, while his compatriot was sixth.
An accurate analysis
Karun Chandhok has analyzed what happened on Sky Sports F1 and has come up with the key to why Hamilton was beaten by Russell. The ’44’ hadn’t been beaten since Nico Rosberg in 2016. From that turning point, Valtteri Bottas beat him with ease.
“At the beginning of the season, Russell was doing really well, he was regularly beating Lewis,” Chandhok explained.
“Then when Lewis improved mid-season, it was a bit of a wake-up call for George. I think he thought, ‘Wow, I’ve woken the beast!
“What I’m sure is that Lewis wasn’t motivated, which I can totally understand. He reminded me of Senna in 1993. He’s the number one driver of his generation, he comes to the opening race and realizes he’s only able to qualify on the third row of the grid. How does he find the motivation in that situation?”
“Then we came to Barcelona, where he was up to the challenge. From then on, little by little, he woke up from his lethargy. And by the end he was back.”
Why is Verstappen acting like this towards Hamilton?
The friction still seen on track between Verstappen and Hamilton, Chandhok comments.
“Lewis was the king of the castle. He has dominated for a long time. Max felt he had to assert himself against Lewis, dethrone him. Whereas he sees Charles, George and Carlos as his equals and that’s why he competes with them in a different way.”
The difference between Red Bull and Mercedes
Finally, he sets out his theory as to what generated the difference between the Milton Keynes-based outfit and Toto Wolff‘s. “Red Bull invested a lot of resources in 2021 and still developed a car for 2022 that was extremely fast. That’s something Mercedes couldn’t do,” he concluded.
Leave a Reply