Sir Lewis Hamilton has faced a challenging start to 2022; the British driver has seen himself experience bad luck on a number of occasions this season, but there’s no doubting he has also struggled for outright pace relative to George Russell at several circuits.
The Mercedes F1 Team driver has seen himself caught out by safety cars, collisions and bad strategies, all accumulating to him currently sitting sixth in the Drivers’ Championship.
New team-mate for 2022 Russell has experienced the complete opposite.
The former Williams driver has had plenty of good luck so far this year, usually in the same moments when his experienced team-mate faces negative outcomes.
As a result, Russell finds himself fourth in the championship 34 points ahead of his seven-time World Champion team-mate.
Commenting on Hamilton being outperformed by Russell, Red Bull Racing advisor Helmut Marko noted that “many things” are going against the seven-time world champion.
“Because many things are going against him, there is also a lot of bad luck. Just like Ricciardo had it at Red Bull, when everything went there for Vettel,” he said.
Hamilton will be hoping for good luck this weekend at the Azerbaijan GP; a race in which he benefitted from Max Verstappen retiring due to a tyre failure, but the Briton made a mistake during the restart and cost himself the lead of the grand prix.
The Brit famously ran straight-on at the race’s restart whilst going for the lead, instead he scored zero points.
Had he finished in the top five, then Hamilton would’ve walked away from Abu Dhabi as an eight-time World Champion.
The restart occurred due to Verstappen suffering a high-speed tyre failure, at around 200 mph.
Mercedes will be wanting a repeat of their Spanish GP pace, rather than what they showed in Monaco.
The W13 was much closer to both Red Bull and Ferrari in Spain, whereas in Monaco they returned to being well off the pace.
It appeared at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya that they’d finally gotten on top of their porpoising issue, however, it returned slightly around the Circuit de Monaco.
Marko is certain that Mercedes will find their mojo once again, and that they can’t be written off at all for the drivers’ or constructors’ championship.
The Austrian continued by saying that if Mercedes get back to the top, “then Hamilton is also back”.
“Yes, I do. Their car gets faster every day, of the top times they are already at our level or even better. So you really can’t write them off. If Mercedes suddenly dominates everything again, then Hamilton is also back.”
Should Mercedes return to the top step of the podium, then finally viewers might get a glimpse of a championship battle between Hamilton and Russell, with many starting to believe that the latter is forcing the 37-year-old off into the sidelines at Mercedes.