Lewis Hamilton has ‘doubt in his driving’

Lewis Hamilton wants the FIA to award Red Bull a heavy penalty following their 'minor' 2021 cost cap breach.

Lewis Hamilton has just four races remaining to ensure that 2022 isn’t his most unsuccessful season in Formula 1, with the seven-time World Champion looking increasingly likely to see two of his incredible streaks come to an abrupt end.

It really hasn’t been a season to write home about for the Brit, despite labelling the challenging year as a “great experience”.

Many tipped the 37-year-old to raise his game this year, following on from the emptiness he felt after the “manipulated” 2021 season finale.

Hamilton’s campaign has been the complete opposite, with the Mercedes driver making more mistakes than ever before whilst being in arguably the worst car he’s driven since 2009.

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As it stands, Hamilton is sitting sixth in the Drivers’ Championship, which would be the lowest he’s ever ended a season.

Perhaps an even more pressing issue is that he still hasn’t claimed a victory in the W13, which would mean he’d fail to win a race for the first season of his F1 career.

Hamilton is the only driver in the history of the sport to have claimed a win in every season he’s competed in, a record dating back to 2007.

Whilst records aren’t believed to be something the Stevenage-born driver is worried about, you’d have to imagine this would bring some despair to the 103-time GP winner.

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He still has his beloved United States and Brazilian Grand Prix to claim a victory, although, this weekend’s race at the Circuit of the Americas is predicted to be Mercedes’ final hope of tasting glory.

The car can be blamed for a lot of Hamilton’s poor results; however, a costly driver error at the Singapore Grand Prix was a prime example of the Briton making mistakes he doesn’t usually make.

Perhaps it’s down to him being forced to push a poor car beyond its limits; otherwise it can only be seen as a rarely seen mistake.

With Hamilton having faced a year of disappointment, Max Verstappen has built on his 2021 success and pushed himself to an even higher level.

The Dutchman has been flawless, imperious, and most importantly, victorious, with the Red Bull star having claimed his second consecutive crown with four races remaining.

It comes at a time when Red Bull have been found guilty by the FIA for having exceeded the 2021 budget cap, following a ‘minor’ breach.

One of the punishments for this is that Verstappen could be stripped of his crown, with there being a possibility that Hamilton could become an eight-time World Champion after all.

Hamilton and the majority of the paddock are insisting that the FIA award a heavy penalty to the Austrians; however, a fine is the likely punishment.

Dutch racing driver Renger van der Zande has since labelled arguably the greatest F1 driver of all-time as “over the top” and explained how he feels age is getting the better of the Brit.

“I come back to Hamilton: I don’t think it’s cool to see, but you wonder if he’s over the top,” Van der Zande told Dutch magazine Formule 1.

“His car is less, but his overtakes are no longer as convincing as before, you see doubt in his driving. Perhaps a combination of age and that he has lost momentum.

“Max, on the other hand, is so confident that he can make decisive actions and has a way out if it doesn’t work out.

“At the same time you know, even with all the good results, that the weather will be bad. After sun comes rain, and vice-versa. I have often experienced this myself and Max will also have it in the back of his mind.

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“The way Max is dominating this year is very impressive. It’s also funny now to see the difference between Max and Lewis Hamilton. I have often said in recent years: ‘Hamilton has the luck of a champion’.

“That you just hit something with a wing, but it doesn’t break. You can now also see that kind of happiness at times when it matters.

“A champion’s luck is like being in a casino on a roll; that everything is just fine. That you drive fourth, but the number one and two collide and you still win.

“Or you do an impossible overtaking action that still succeeds, also because people drive against you differently since you dominate. When Max drives behind someone, everyone knows: ‘he’ll pass, it won’t be long’.

“But with his team-mate Sergio Perez they think: I might have that one.”