Lewis Hamilton takes embarrassing record from Max Verstappen

Mercedes saw their dominant streak in Formula 1 come to an end last season, as the Silver Arrows found themselves struggling to adapt to the new era of regulations.

Lewis Hamilton had a difficult 2022 season, as he recorded his first winless year since joining the Formula 1 grid, as Mercedes found itself far off the pace of eventual world champions Red Bull.

The situation has now become even more painful for the seven-time world champion, as he took an unfortunate record from Max Verstappen, surpassing the Dutchman’s longest winless drought in Formula 1.

Despite getting on the podium in Australia, marking somewhat of a comeback for Mercedes this season, Hamilton was unable to crack Verstappen’s dominance, failing to stop his old rival from converting pole into P1 on Sunday.

Heading into the Azerbaijan Grand Prix this weekend, Hamilton finds himself having waited 504 days, as of 24 April, for another taste of victory.

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Verstappen’s longest wait came between his first victory at the 2016 Spanish Grand Prix and his second P1 finish in Malaysia the following year.

 Verstappen had waited 427 days since his debut at Toro Rosso for his first shot at victory, while Hamilton took the top step of the podium only 84 days into his Formula 1 career, winning his sixth race at the Canadian Grand Prix.

Mercedes is hopeful that they will be able to develop the W14 to put them back at the front of the grid and the top of Formula 1, as they prepare to unveil a slate of upgrades over the coming races.

“In terms of car development, it is encouraging to see that within three races, we understand the car much better, we have defined a clear direction where we need to go and I believe we are on the right trajectory,” Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff told the Mercedes website.

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“We need to consolidate our understanding and hopefully over the next few races we can make another step.

“It’s also important to keep on track and not oscillate too much between exuberance and depression; to stay rational and believe in our trajectory, believe in the capability of the team.

Going into round 4 of the 2023 season, Hamilton finds himself in P4 in the Drivers’ Standings on 38 points, a significant gap to title leader Verstappen, who sits on 69 points.