Fans on social media have been discussing Sir Lewis Hamilton after his awful result at the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix as he failed to score points.
The Briton was out-performed throughout the weekend by team-mate George Russell, who ended the race up in fourth, leaving a 21-point disparity between the two in the Drivers’ Championship.
Mercedes boss Toto Wolff consoled his driver on the radio after he had crossed the line, and apologised to him for the “undriveable” car he had been given.
Sebastian Vettel scored seven points finishes and one podium in 2020 as Ferrari languished towards the back of the pack, and YouTuber Aarava suggested that the seven-time champion is going through a similar run of poor form.
“Is Hamilton in his Vettel 2020 era?” he tweeted.
This attracted a couple of retorts, with the general consensus being that the 37-year-old is merely finding it difficult to adapt to a midfield car, and that the progress will happen eventually.
“Or maybe we now realise what Sebastian went through in that season and how tough it is to drive a midfield car after battling at the front for so long. Even now, if you get both of them a race winning car, they’ll do the job perfectly,” was one reply.
“I think he needs to get used to driving a car that doesn’t agree with him, George had to deal with it for a while with Williams so he’s adapted a bit quicker. It’ll come,” said another.
One fan affirmed that it would be a shame for one of the greatest in the sport’s history to spend the final years of his career racing in the mid pack, so hopes Mercedes can resolve the issues they have been faced with since the turn of the ne technical regulations.
“Not a Lewis fan, I was so delighted at him losing last year. But he does not deserve to end his career in the midfield,” they said.
“I only dislike him because he is such a good driver and has beaten my team for years. Feels weird to stick up for him but everyone knows he’s one of the greats.”
Hamilton spent most of the afternoon stuck behind Pierre Gasly, and it was put to him that he might have enjoyed some cleaner air and, consequently, a better result had he pitted earlier than he did.
“I really don’t know to be honest, I don’t think it would have made much of a difference,” he told Sky Sports.
“A weekend to forget, that’s for sure.”
Sitting seventh in the Drivers’ Standings, the 103-time race winner has consigned himself to battling in the midfield battle this year.
“I’m out of the championship for sure, there’s no question about that,” he said.
“But I’ll still keep working the hardest that I can and try and somehow pull it back together.”
Mercedes have been leapfrogged by Red Bull in the Constructors’ Championship after their one-two finish through Max Verstappen and Sergio Perez in Imola.