Former Jordan team principal Eddie Jordan is intrigued to see how Sir Lewis Hamilton is going to respond to his tough start to the season having been knocked off his “perch” by team-mate George Russell.
Russell leads Hamilton 4-3 after he out-qualified the seven-time champion in Monaco last weekend, and he has now out-raced him in all of the last six weekends.
While it is for the most part down to Russell’s excellent performances, Hamilton seems to have suffered more with tuning the setup in such a way to counteract the “porpoising” that has affected the team under the new technical regulations.
He has also been on the receiving end of some misfortune in the early going of 2022, with Safety Cars and red flags costing him in qualifying sessions and races.
Nonetheless, Jordan affirms that the 37-year-old is no longer the man to beat, and wants to see him bounce back from the deficit he has to his team-mate.
“I think the big surprise is, everybody globally, in Formula 1 context, thinks that Lewis Hamilton is top dog but he’s no longer top dog, not even in that team because Russell has taken his perch away,” he explained during Channel 4’s coverage of the Monaco Grand Prix.
“And I think it’s very interesting to watch and I want to see how Lewis is going to overcome that.”
The Briton was denied a final run in qualifying after a red flag caused by Sergio Perez, while Fernando Alonso also ended up in the wall, subsequently ensuring that he would start the race one place ahead of Hamilton in seventh.
The Mercedes driver was stuck behind Alonso for most of the race due to the Spaniard’s extreme tyre conservation on Mediums, taking away any opportunity Hamilton might have had to take advantage of the slippery conditions.
“I knew that would be the case once Alonso qualified ahead of me,” he conceded after the race.
“But there was nothing I could really do, I was hoping for some sort of opportunity with the rain but it didn’t turn into an opportunity and I tried to get by, then I got stuck behind his team-mate.
“It’s one of those days.”
The 103-time race winner was also caught up in an incident with the other Alpine of Esteban Ocon, for which the Frenchman got a penalty.
Before the contact at Sainte-Devote, Ocon appeared to move across on the straight, almost feeding Hamilton straight into the barrier, so he indicated that the penalty was deserved.
“I mean he put me in the wall so I’m just grateful that I finished,” explained Hamilton.
“I’m so surprised that my car stayed together, so I’m grateful for that.”
While Hamilton went on to finish the race in the Principality in eighth, Lando Norris took sixth for McLaren, putting him just two points behind his compatriot in the battle for sixth in the standings.