‘Lewis Hamilton suffered for the first time’

Lewis Hamilton finished sixth in the drivers’ championship in 2022, finishing the year without a single win.

Of all the records that Lewis Hamilton has broken over the course of his illustrious F1 career, going a whole season without a win for the first time in his career is not something he would have been targeting going into last season.

The W13 was uncompetitive for the majority of the season, as Mercedes really struggled to get to grips with the major regulation changes and solve their porpoising issue.

Hamilton looked below his usual standards for the majority of the season, finishing in sixth place in the drivers’ championship, while his new teammate George Russell picked up a win in Brazil and finished fourth.

The 38-year-old is only one world championship title away from surpassing the legendary Michael Schumacher, something which former F1 driver Felipe Massa has urged fans to remember before overlooking Hamilton for the 2023 title.

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“You have to remember what he has achieved, and may yet achieve,” he told Gazzetta dello Sport.

“He only needs one more title to become the best driver of all time, but for that he needs the right car. Last year Mercedes started badly, but then they caught up.

“Hamilton suffered for the first time, compared to a teammate, Russell, who drove a great season. When you get older and a younger teammate immediately does so well in the first year, then the pressure mounts.

“Hopefully Hamilton can still show what he is worth and he can made the people who doubt him stop doing so.”

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Mercedes will unveil the W14 on February 15th and if the rumours are to be believed, the car will be significantly more competitive than the W13.

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The team have not been shy to admit that they got the physics surrounding the new regulations completely wrong, leading to the major porpoising issue and a general lack of pace.

With George Russell having proved that he is more than capable of winning races in his debut season with the Silver Arrows, Hamilton will have to beat his teammate if he is to stand any chance of winning a record breaking eighth world championship title.

It has been suggested that there could be a repeat of the Nico Rosberg and Lewis Hamilton fall out again in 2023, but both drivers have expressed their confidence in maintaining a respectful relationship this year.