Unexpected anti-records: how Lewis Hamilton surprised his fans
Total defeat instead of the eighth title
Before the start of the 2022 season, there were many rumors about the termination of the contract with Lewis Hamilton due to a loss in the fight for the title. Recall that the Mercedes driver repeatedly expressed dissatisfaction with the car last season, as he repeatedly lost to the Red Bull driver Max Verstappen by pure speed.
But in the end, the contract between Mercedes and Lewis Hamilton was signed and no one had any doubt that the fight for the title between him and Max Verstappen would continue,
but everything turned out not as we thought.
The beginning of the 2022 season has turned into one continuous nightmare for the seven-time Formula 1 world champion, and the statistics confirm this.
WORST PURE SPEED FINISH IN 14 YEARS
It's been a long time since Lewis Hamilton failed so badly in racing at a pure pace. He has had worse results in the last ten years than last Sunday: 15th in Baku-2021, 19th in Valencia-2012, 14th in Barcelona-2010 and even 18th in Nurburg-2009. But almost all of these results were caused by problems – punctures, malfunctions with the car, errors in aerobatics, collisions. And without any external factors, Lewis was so far away only at the British Grand Prix in the summer of 2009, when he started from the penultimate 19th place and finished the race 16th.
JUST THE SECOND FINISH OUTSIDE THE TOP 10 SINCE 2014
From the beginning of the dominance of the Mercedes in Formula 1 in 2014 to the failure in Imola-2022, which is no less than 162 races, Lewis Hamilton has finished outside the top ten only once. It happened at the Azerbaijan Grand Prix-2021, where he mistakenly shifted the balance of the brakes and took off at the restart in the first corner.
THREE RACES IN A ROW WITHOUT A PODIUM
For the first time since the end of his debut season for Mercedes in 2013, Lewis Hamilton was left without a podium in three races in a row.
FOR THE FIRST TIME IN FIVE YEARS , HE LOST 3 TIMES TO HIS TEAMMATE
In the career of Lewis Hamilton, there have been protracted series before, when he repeatedly found himself behind a teammate, and quite long. In the 2011 season, he could not beat Jenson Button in five races in a row, and Nico Rosberg lost seven times in a row at the end of 2015 and the beginning of 2016. But in the five years of partnership with Valtteri Bottas, the Briton only once – in Mexico, Brazil and Abu Dhabi at the end of the 2017 season - finished behind his partner more than twice in a row. Ahead of George Russell at the start of this season, he was only at the Bahrain Grand Prix.
NOT A SINGLE LEAD LAP IN FOUR RACES
There is a parallel with 2009, because only in that disastrous season Lewis Hamilton for the first four Grands Prix of the season did not validate once and spent only six laps in the top three. In this regard, he started the 2022 season a little better: he drove two laps in second position and 12 laps in third place. Do you know in which position he spent the most laps?
On the 14th - 51, 44 of which were at Imola and seven more at the Saudi Grand Prix.
LOWEST POSITION IN THE CHAMPIONSHIP SINCE 2009
After the first four races of the 2021 season, Lewis Hamilton is only seventh in the championship, but this is far from the worst intermediate position for him in the individual standings. In 2009, after the first four races, he was also seventh, and then fell back even further, to 11th place, from which, however, by the end of the season he rose to fifth.
But despite this, Lewis Hamilton's main competitors in the past, namely the Red Bull team, do not believe that the end of the era of Mercedes and Lewis Hamilton has come.
”The era after 2013 was defined by the new regulations on engines, and Mercedes had an incredible advantage in this area.
They were ahead of everyone by two seconds, but logically did not show it. Now with the chassis change and in terms of engines, the difference is not so great.
I don't think that the end of their era has come, but perhaps this is the beginning of a struggle on the same level as the rest. I am quite convinced that they will return if they cope with the galloping of the car” - Helmut Marko.
But not everyone thinks the same
For example, two-time Formula 1 champion Mika Hakkinen believes that the team has already dropped out of the fight for the title.
"Obviously, Mercedes has complex problems with the car. I can't believe we're talking about this, but Mercedes has already, apparently, dropped out of the fight for the championship title.
In Imola, for the first time in 10 years, none of the Mercedes drivers managed to reach the third qualifying segment. It's really hard to believe. It can be seen that the Mercedes car in the current design is bad in several areas.
The fact that Verstappen overtook Hamilton by a lap shows how hard times Mercedes is going through. The team doesn't have enough time to fix the problems. The championship will not wait" - Mika Hakkinen.
Let's see if Mercedes' progress changes this season.