2022 is looking set to be the most unsuccessful season of Sir Lewis Hamilton’s Formula 1 career, with the seven-time World Champion currently sixth in the Drivers’ Championship and yet to claim a victory.
Hamilton has faced a difficult year as a result of the problems with the W13, most notably, the porpoising issue.
Whilst the Silver Arrows have gotten on top of the bouncing phenomena, the problem simply cost the Germans too much time, meaning they’ve been playing catch-up virtually all year.
The 37-year-old has managed some strong results despite his car being particularly weak, most notably his second-place finishes at the French, and Hungarian Grand Prix.
The Brit was also particularly strong at the Italian Grand Prix, where he recovered from P19 to finish fifth, at a venue which really didn’t suit the W13.
Mercedes have severely struggled at low downforce circuits, with Spa being a low point of the Briton’s season.
Hamilton collided with Fernando Alonso at Les Combes, which sent his car vertically into the air, before his rear came crashing back down onto the circuit.
Azerbaijan was another awful round for the 103-time GP winner, after suffering from severe spinal pain due to the porpoising issue.
Despite also facing difficulties at Saudi Arabia and Emilia Romagna, Hamilton has achieved six podiums from the 16 completed races this season, leaving him currently P6 in the Drivers’ Championship.
This is behind both Red Bull, and Ferrari drivers, as well as his new team-mate George Russell.
Should Hamilton fail to win a race this year, then it’ll be the first season in his F1 career where he hasn’t claimed a victory; the Brit is also on track for his worst Drivers’ Championship position of his career.
Hamilton previously ended the year fifth in 2009 and 2011; however, never any lower.
F1 managing director Ross Brawn, who will retire from the sport at the end of the year following and illustrious career, has likened Hamilton’s situation to Michael Schumacher’s return to the series with Mercedes in 2010.
Schumacher’s comeback was somewhat underwhelming, with the seven-time World Champion playing more of a sacrificial role, with the idea of setting the team up for the future.
Brawn thinks Hamilton is in a similar situation, with the side having to rebuild their “foundations” following the end of their eight-year domination.
“You can compare Lewis’ situation a bit with Michael’s comeback with Mercedes,” the 67-year-old told F1-Insider.
“As a driver, you always have to decide whether you want to be part of the solution or part of the problem.
“Michael redefined his role back then, so he was part of the solution and helped build the team that would go on to win eight straight Constructors’ titles.
“He sacrificed himself for the future of the team, so to speak, and played a key role in laying the foundation for its success.”
Whilst the former Ferrari technical director has labelled Hamilton for “sacrificing himself”, he still thinks he can return to the top; however, Brawn has warned that young team-mate Russell might be “hungrier” to win.
“Lewis is in the twilight of his career,” Brawn added.
“But that doesn’t mean it’s over yet. This year, for an extremely long time, he has had a car that he cannot win with.
“So he puts a lot of energy into changing that. For him, this time is a kind of character test. It may well be that his team-mate George Russell is hungrier in the races as a result.”