The start of 2022 hasn’t gone how Sir Lewis Hamilton may have expected; the seven-time World Champion is already considered to be out of title contention after just six rounds.
The new era hasn’t greeted the Mercedes F1 Team with their usual success, instead they’ve been the third best team on the grid and continue to be off the pace of both Ferrari and Red Bull Racing.
Result wise it’s been extremely mixed for Hamilton, whose best result this season remains as the season opener where he finished third.
The British driver is currently sixth in the drivers’ championship, 64-points behind championship leader and fierce 2021 rival Max Verstappen.
With 2022 appearing not to be Hamilton’s eighth world title winning year, people have began to question whether the decorated driver will continue in 2023, or retire at the end of the current campaign.
Does Hamilton want a similar fate to that of Sebastian Vettel and Fernando Alonso, of ending their career as a midfield driver, or is he wanting to go out at the top?
Hamilton’s pace at the recent Spanish Grand Prix suggests that the Brit is far from finished, after being the fastest car on track for the majority of the race.
Formula 1 managing director and former team owner Ross Brawn believes retirement isn’t yet on the cards for the “determined racing driver”.
“Amid all the glitz and the glamour, you still have a very determined racing driver,” Brawn told the Evening Standard.
“He’s still supremely fit and capable. I’m pretty certain he wants to win that eighth championship and, if not this year as looks likely, then next year.
“I don’t know enough about what Mercedes’ issues are to know if they can be fixed with the concept of car they have or whether they have to review the concept. They’ll sort it out I’m sure – but it’s obviously very fragile what they’re dealing with.”
Hamilton’s target for this season might be just to finish the year as top Mercedes, as new team-mate George Russell has started the season exceptionally well.
The former Williams driver currently sits fourth in the championship, and is 28 points ahead of Hamilton.
Prior to last weekend in Spain, Russell was asked what it’s like to work with a “leader” like Hamilton.
Before the Brit could answer, Hamilton insisted he wasn’t “the leader” at Mercedes.
“Well, firstly, I wouldn’t say I’m the leader. George and I work equally hard together, I would say, to help drive the team and row just as hard as everyone else in the team,” Hamilton said.