Last Sunday’s Monaco Grand Prix saw George Russell maintain his streak of finishing in the top 5 at every Grand Prix in 2022. This result meant Russell has finished ahead of Lewis Hamilton in each of the last six races. Meanwhile, Lewis Hamilton spent much of his race bottled up behind the two Alpine cars as his W13 ‘felt the worst that it’s felt so far.”
Starting P8, the seven-time F1 Drivers’ World Champion had Esteban Ocon in front of him and due to the layout of Monaco a handful to pass. When Hamilton made his move into turn one, the robust defensive driving from the Frenchman was seen as crossing the line. Ocon would receive a five-second time penalty for it after he was accused of turning in on Hamilton as he attempted an overtake. Ocon revealed post-race that the stewards said in 2021 it would have been viewed as a racing incident – but not today.
Having seen the contact with Esteban Ocon break his front wing (which was later repaired during the red flag) Lewis Hamilton would face further struggles with another Alpine driver later on when racing resumed. Ferando Alonso showed all his racecraft by slowing his lap time to 5 seconds of pace to manage his tyre degradation. Such is the layout of Monaco and the positional sense of Alonso - Hamilton could not find a way past.
Lewis Hamilton’s struggles were continuing in the cockpit as much as on the track. Mercedes’ talismanic racer revealed in his post-race comments, to select media which included Motorlat, that the vibrations of his W13 were the worst of the season so far.
" I'm praying that the car doesn't feel like it does here 'cause here it was the worst that it’s felt so far just with the bumps…my teeth, my jaw moving the whole time, I'm done with the shaking.” Hamilton said.
The W13 certainly seems to be living up to its name for any superstitions about 13 being an unlucky number. However, the reason for the recent in-car discomfort was explained by Hamilton in his remarks which also showed the British racer is keen to move on:
"Ours is so stiff, the suspension is driving it back into the ground. I'm looking forward to more open tracks. Hopefully the next race, I'm just praying it’s not as bumpy here…if it is bumpy, through the slow corners, we might struggle but we’ll see." Hamilton concluded in his post-race remarks.
Lewis Hamilton started P8 and finished P8 and it is not often that the British racer is deprived from being able to charge through the field. Meanwhile, Mercedes-AMG Petronas Formula One Team find themselves P3 in the constructors’ standings on 134 points. This haul of points is already 101 points behind Red Bull Racing after Sergio Perez crossed the line on Sunday to claim a momentous Monaco Grand Prix victory. For any other team this would more than likely be the end of any title aspirations but Mercedes are 8-time F1 Constructors’ Champions for a reason. Beyond this, the recent online remarks from Lewis Hamilton also remind people of the mindset of the man driving for them.
To celebrate his father’s birthday, Lewis Hamilton took to social media and wrote: Happy birthday to my father, the man who made it all happen. He taught me determination. How to win and how to lose. To never give up and always stand for what I believe in. I am forever grateful to this man for the friend I have in him. Love you dad have an amazing day.
These remarks could also be seen as a battle cry and a reminder that Hamilton is far from finished. As such, the seven-time F1 Drivers’ Champion surely has more amazing days to come. His determination and belief in his ability is unquestionable and the season is still very young even though Hamilton is already 75 points off F1 Drivers’ Championship leader Max Verstappen.
The F1 circus now moves on to Baku. The venue which in 2021 famously brought the incident of ‘brake magic’ into the F1 vocabulary. Now, a year on, we shouldn’t be surprised to see Lewis Hamilton find his own magic in Azerbaijan. The prospect of this is just one of the many reasons why the 2022 Formula One season is unpredictable, unforgettable and unmissable.