‘Lewis was devastated’: Hamilton wants to prove doubters wrong after George Russell defeat

Lewis Hamilton did not win a single race in 2022 as Mercedes struggled under the new regulations.

When the major regulation changes were introduced at the beginning of last season, Mercedes took a huge step backwards, with the team really struggling to get the best out of the new rules.

The W13 was largely uncompetitive and harboured a major porpoising problem, putting the Silver Arrows out of title contention before the summer break.

Lewis Hamilton entered the 2022 season off the back of the heartbreak that he experienced in the 2021 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, meaning that the last thing that he would have wanted was to struggle once again the following season.

The seven-time world champion never really looked like himself last year and finished the season without a single win to his name, even being beaten in the drivers’ championship by George Russell, his new Mercedes teammate.

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Former F1 team owner Eddie Jordan has suggested that it took Hamilton longer than expected to recover from the 2021 season finale in Abu Dhabi and while Russell has proved that he can beat Hamilton over the course of the season, he expects the 38-year-old to be much stronger this year.

“Seven-time world champion. I do believe he thinks he has the best chance this coming season to make this championship eight,” Jordan said.

“The reason I say that and the reason why I think he can beat George Russell is because this time last year, Lewis was devastated.

“What happened in Abu Dhabi in 2021, last race of the season, had it happened in the mid-season, it would be something you could probably get your mind through but the way it happened, it was the last race and for the eighth championship seriously affected Lewis’ mindset and his mind wasn’t as clear as it should have been going into the start of the season.

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“I would discount the first 20 or 30 percent of last season in terms of not seeing Lewis at his best and he’ll be back to his best now. I think as an indicator, George Russell beating him in terms of total points for the championship in 2022, will be a blow to him.

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“There’s everything to play for this year, I think Lewis will be very strong nevertheless.”

Hamilton may be forced to hang on to the likes of Red Bull and Ferrari in the early stages of the season, as Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff has hinted that the team may not be fully competitive until F1 returns to Europe.

While the W14 looks to be a huge improvement on the W13, it is not yet on the of level Red Bull or Ferrari.