Sir Lewis Hamilton is being mocked on social media after he had an abysmal qualifying for the 2022 Saudi Arabian Grand Prix.
The seven-time world champion will line up for tomorrow’s race in Jeddah in P16, after he was eliminated in Q1.
Hamilton suffered from a lack of pace throughout the opening session of qualifying, and after being notified by his race engineer that he had been knocked out, he apologised to the team.
Meanwhile, George Russell, who has replaced Valtteri Bottas as Hamilton’s team-mate this season, fared much better than his more experienced team-mate and qualified in sixth.
In a post-qualifying interview, the 37-year-old said that he and Russell were running similar set-ups and suggested that his lack of single-lap pace was due to him struggling with the car, rather than there being a mechanical issue or defect.
Many F1 fans were quick to take to social media to mock Hamilton for being knocked out of Q1 for the first time since the 2017 Brazil Grand Prix.
One described it as the continued “dethroning of the so-called GOAT” and described claimed that his championship successes with Mercedes in the turbo-hybrid era had been a “walk in the park.”
Another social media user also took the opportunity to attribute Hamilton’s recent success to him having a dominant car.
Meanwhile, a number of fans of the Briton called for all cars knocked out in Q1 to be allowed to break Parc Ferme without being demoted to the back of the grid, as it was debated if Mercedes should make a set-up change ahead of the race.
Another fan suggested that Formula 1 should scrap Parc Ferme altogether, claiming that it “has no real purpose.”
It remains to be seen if Mercedes will make a set-up change on Hamilton’s car, but in any case, watching the seven-time world champion attempt to make his way back up the order will be one of the key talking points of tomorrow’s grand prix.