Mercedes Absolves Carlos Sainz of Blame for Heartbreaking Lewis Hamilton Season Finale

Published 11/24/2022, 2:00 PM EST
Motor racing – Formula One F1 – Hungarian Grand Prix – Hungaroring, Budapest, Hungary – July 28, 2022 Ferrari’s Carlos Sainz Jr. ahead of the Grand Prix REUTERS/Lisa Leutner

Lewis Hamilton bowed out of the final race in Abu Dhabi in the 56th lap. The car suffered from a hydraulics failure which saw the team retire the car in the final stages of the race. Earlier it was believed the failure happened because of the damage the car took in the first lap while Hamilton was battling Carlos Sainz. Mercedes’ James Vowles however recently revealed the two incidents had nothing to do with each other.

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Carlos Sainz found a better grip as the race started and challenged Lewis Hamilton for his place. As he made a lunge, the Mercedes driver was pushed off the track and bounced hard off of a chicane. Lewis constantly complained of a suspected broken floor on the team radio as the race progressed.

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Is it fair to blame Carlos Sainz for Lewis Hamilton’s Abu Dhabi DNF?

Lewis Hamilton struggled throughout the race with tire grip and power loss issues. Eventually, he was called in to retire the car, ending his race in another heartbreak in Abu Dhabi. The team’s Motorsport Strategy Director James Vowles recently did a race debrief where he revealed whether the damage taken during the first lap incident with Carlos Sainz was behind Lewis’ hydraulics failure.

SAO PAULO, BRAZIL – NOVEMBER 11: James Vowles of Great Britain and Mercedes during the Formula One Grand Prix of Brazil at Autodromo Jose Carlos Pace on November 11, 2018 in Sao Paulo, Brazil. (Photo by Peter J Fox/Getty Images)

“Short answer, no. There was actually surprisingly little damage from that first lap incident. The bib, the area under the car, did take a massive impact as a result of it and that won’t be good. The front wing end plate again had a snock, but generally speaking, it was fine aerodynamically. What happened at the end of the race is actually a loss of hydraulics pressure and it had no relation or no bearing to that first lap incident,” Vowles revealed.

This was the first time when Hamilton could not score a single win in an entire season. To make matters worse, his young teammate George Russell not only scored his maiden win but also beat him in the final points tally.

Has Lewis Hamilton lost his magical touch?

As the season concluded, George Russell finished the season in 4th in the drivers’ standings with 275 points. In comparison, Lewis Hamilton could only score 240 points and finished in 6th. The result had fans wondering if the 7-time world champion had his best years behind him now.

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MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIa: Lewis Hamilton of Great Britain and Mercedes GP and Mercedes GP Executive Director Toto Wolff on stage for the F1 Live event during previews ahead of the F1 Grand Prix of Australia at Melbourne Grand Prix Circuit on March 13, 2019 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Clive Mason/Getty Images)

Team principal Toto Wolff however, recently came to the rescue of his champion driver. He said, “Lewis has been really, really good because you expect a world champion, who has had the title taken away from him, to just come in and smash everybody. But we didn’t give him the car to do that.”

Toto hailed Lewis’ attitude in the briefing room and how he lifted everyone up despite having a bad season.

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Watch This Story: Lewis Hamilton Finds Himself in an Unusual Situation With His Teammate for the First Time Since 2007

Do you think Mercedes will build a car to match Lewis’ abilities next season? Will he beat his young and energetic teammate to the points tally?

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Nischay Rathore

327 articles

Nischay Rathore is a Formula 1 Author at EssentiallySports. Being a law graduate, he has worked at the Supreme Court of India as well as the High Court of Delhi. However, due to his adherent love for sports, he has now set out to start his journey into the world of Sports Journalism.

Edited By: Jito Tenson

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