Lewis Hamilton had every right to feel sorry for himself at the start of the 2022 Formula One season. Having fought back from a defect to Max Verstappen, Hamilton won the first three of the final four rounds in 2021.

Yet at the finale in the desert, the F1 gods decided it was time for a change and Max Verstappen benefitted from an unusual decision made during the safety car restart procedure. Passing Hamilton on the last lap of the race in Abu Dhabi, Max claimed his first F1 drivers’ title and prevent ed Lewis Hamilton from making it a record number eight.
Russell puts up a fight
Since then, Hamilton has been a shadow of his former self and without a win for over two years now. His first season against George Russell as his new Mercedes team mate saw Lewis put the young upstart in his place as he continued to show why he was called the King of the hot lap.
The final count was 13-11 in favour of Hamilton out-qualifying George, but Russell had placed a marker in the ground finishing ahead of his team mate in 12 of the 22 possible Grand Prix of the year. George was only the third driver in Lewis Hamilton’s career to score more points in a season than the seven times would champion.
Lewis recovered in 2023 finishing 15 times ahead of George, but he was challenged in the qualifying head to head as the pair shared 11 occasions each when they beat the other side of the garage.

1997 World Champion Jacques Villeneuve is now the second paddock insider who claims Lewis Hamilton has lost his verve but points the finger of blame at the “comfortable” time when he raced alongside Valterri Bottas. The pair raced alongside each other between 2017-21 winning the constructors’ title each year. Hamilton claimed four drivers’ titles during that time, but was never really challenged by his team mate.

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