8X Champions Admit Defeat as Lewis Hamilton & Co. Left Hopeless in the Middle of “Nowhere”

Published 08/28/2022, 8:25 AM EDT
Formula One F1 – Belgian Grand Prix – Spa-Francorchamps, Spa, Belgium – August 25, 2022 Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton during a press conference ahead of the Belgian Grand Prix REUTERS/Stephane Mahe

For Lewis Hamilton, it has been an uphill battle to find his voice in the 2022 championship. However, coming to Spa-Francorchamps, he came face to face with the crest of Raidillon, which thrashed the spirits of the Mercedes star, who seemed to excel in the uphill battles thus far.

ADVERTISEMENT

Article continues below this ad

Normally, Hamilton is the kind of guy who would tell you that two steps forward, one step back, is still one step forward. Nonetheless, the timing sheets of the Belgium GP qualifying really humbled the seven-time world champion as he waved the white flag in disbelief of facing a 1.8-second gap to his arch nemesis, Max Verstappen.

ADVERTISEMENT

Article continues below this ad

Be it the driver’s market or the on-track performance, nothing is stable in F1. Mercedes, who were on pole position last time out, could only muster P7 and P8 in yesterday’s qualifying session. As a result, in a post-Qualifying interview, Toto Wolff scratched his head and comprehended where the team dropped the ball.

He said, “It is the worst qualifying session I’ve had in 10 years,” 

“Irrespective of what positions we are going to start, being on pole at the last race in Hungary and then three weeks later, being nowhere is not acceptable.

“The car is draggy on a straight line. Lewis said it is like dragging a parachute behind him. There is not one positive I have heard about how the car performs.” Wolff concluded.

DIVE DEEPER

Amid a Host of Confusing Penalties, What Is the Final Starting Grid of the Belgian GP?

5 months ago

As multiple drivers pick up engine penalties, the Mercedes duo start P4 and P5 on Sunday. Their race pace has been the unsung hero this season, and we wait to see what they can salvage from the Belgium GP.

Lewis Hamilton dumbfounded by the W13 performance

In the present season, Lewis Hamilton has thrown the kitchen sink at the W13 to extract performance. Week in and week out, he has sacrificed his races to find the solution to a car that fails to contest with the championship protagonists, Ferrari and Red Bull up front.

Finding himself in uncharted waters after years of dominance did not make racing easy for the 37-year-old. Nevertheless, he returned from the summer break, on the back of 5 consecutive podium finishes, and claimed, “We are here to cause havoc in the second half of the season.”

Unfortunately for the Brit, it is Max Verstappen who has caused havoc on his vacation high, as despite starting on the second row, he was an ejected fellow in the post-Qualifying interview.

Hamiton said, “I tried everything, I put everything on the car and I took everything off. I changed wings. I changed setups.

“But I never thought that we would ever be two seconds off so it is way, way worse than I thought it would be.”

“I don’t want to use the word disappointing because you have to remember the 2,000 people at the factory who are working so hard to get it right.”

Watch This Story: Lewis Hamilton Joins Zendaya As the Latest Face for Fashion House Maison Valentino

Of course, I wish we got it right and we brought the upgrades that pushed us forward and we are fighting at the front.”

“It hurts. Believe me, it hurts. But at this point, you have to laugh it off.”

“I am not fighting for a championship. I cannot get too serious and too low. I have a responsibility to keep morale high.” Hamilton added.

Is Lewis Hamilton’s 15-year streak about to end?

Active in his 16th year in F1, the Stevenage-born racing driver has an active streak of winning a race in each year he has been part of the grid so far. However, with the shortcomings of the 2022 Mercedes car, his streak faces a significant threat.

He concluded the interview by commenting on his chances of winning and saving his remarkable streak in the premier class of motorsport.

ADVERTISEMENT

Article continues below this ad

“Yes, it sucks and it is slow, really slow, but we are starting fourth tomorrow, and we may have a chance to get a podium, who knows? We have to stay optimistic.”

“So far this weekend, the car has not told me that it wants to win,” he replied with a wry smile.

“I will have a conversation with it tonight and maybe tomorrow it will be more responsive,” Hamilton concluded.

ADVERTISEMENT

Article continues below this ad

Watch This Story: Not Max Verstappen or Charles Leclerc: Red Bull Chief Picks This F1 Driver for ‘Surprise of the Year’ 

Where do you think Lewis Hamilton will finish in the Belgium GP?

SHARE THIS ARTICLE :

ADVERTISEMENT

Anish Arora

193 articles

Anish Arora is an F1 Author at EssentiallySports. It is the competitive nature of the sport that not only made him an adherent follower of F1, but also inspired him to start his journey as an author for the most prestigious racing series in the world. Anish initially started writing for Formula 1 during his undergrad and now is a huge fan of the 'Silver Arrows'.

Edited By: Ranvijay Singh

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

EDITORS' PICK