The appears to be a changing of the guard in Formula 1 in recent years, as seven-time world champion Lewis Hamilton has failed to taste championship glory for two seasons now, beaten both years by the much younger Max Verstappen.
The Dutchman’s victory in 2021 came in controversial circumstances on the final lap of the season, however last season saw the 25-year-old head and shoulders above the rest of the grid as he stormed to a record breaking 15 race wins.
Lewis Hamilton’s 2022 season failures were not entirely his fault, as the Brit limped to a sixth-place finish in the drivers’ championship and was painfully lapped by Verstappen earlier in the season at Imola.
The W13 produced by Mercedes struggled with a major porpoising issue and was uncompetitive for the majority of the season, not allowing Hamilton to challenge for race victories until the final few rounds of the season.
While it seems that Verstappen is making himself comfortable at the top of the championship standings, his 37-year-old rival has fired a warning shot at the Dutchman, claiming it is not as easy as it seems to stay on top.
“I know how hard it is to be and the top and stay there,” said the seven-time world champion.
“We want to get back to the top! What gives us great hope is the end of this season. The last few races have shown a clear positive trend and prove that we can achieve anything with perseverance.
“It definitely doesn’t demotivate me. I’m sure I’ve had seasons without wins before – that must have been karting in 2001, quite a long time ago!”
While the heartbreak of 2021 and the disaster that was 2022 may have cause many veteran drivers to call time on their career, Hamilton has suggested that he is now more motivated than ever to return to winning ways.
The Brit has confirmed that he is on the verge of signing a contract extension with Mercedes as he admits that he dreams of retiring from Formula 1 as a world champion.
He will have to compete with his teammate if he wishes to win a record breaking eighth world title however, as George Russell managed to get the better of his new teammate last season and has proved to Mercedes that he is more than capable of winning races and challenge ng for championships if given the car to do so.