Wolff insists Hamilton is being outperformed by Russell because of ‘bad luck’

Sir Lewis Hamilton finished the Monaco Grand Prix in eighth after getting caught up behind Fernando Alonso.

Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff insists that Sir Lewis Hamilton’s misfortune in 2022 will eventually come to an end after his eighth-placed finish in Monaco.

Hamilton has not enjoyed the best season so far in 2022, driving a W13 car that has been on the back foot since day one due to the issues caused by the ground effect aerodynamics under the new technical regulations.

Incapsulated within the “porpoising” troubles has been a severe lack of pace for Mercedes, who might now finally be getting back on the right track having finally taken a big step towards vanquishing the bouncing in Spain.

READ: Horner ‘disappointed’ with Ferrari trying to win Monaco GP off the track

However, the lower ride height of the new cars exaggerates the bumps around the Monaco track, and the 37-year-old complained of an “incredible amount of bouncing” over the radio during Friday practice.

He was out-qualified for the fourth time this year by team-mate George Russell after a late red flag in qualifying cost him a final run, and this has followed on from various bits of ill fortune this year.

A change of setup in Jeddah led to an “undriveable” car as he qualified 16th, while unfortunately-timed Safety Cars in Melbourne and Miami cost him a position to Russell on both occasions.

He suffered contact with Kevin Magnussen on the first lap in Spain which necessitated a recovery to fifth, and he got caught up behind the Alpine of Fernando Alonso for the majority of the race last weekend having been involved in contact with Esteban Ocon earlier in the afternoon.

Had it not been for that, Wolff reckons the seven-time champion would have been troubling Russell and Lando Norris, who finished fifth and sixth respectively, over half a minute clear of the Spaniard.

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“He could have been right there and could have closed Lando [Norris, sixth], or even fight with George [Russell] and Lando at the front because that was his pace,” he told Sky Sports.

“When you look at the bad spells Lewis had, stuck behind Fernando [Alonso] today, the contact with Esteban [Ocon], the red flag in qualifying yesterday.

“I think the pendulum will swing and this unlucky situation will stop with Lewis as [he and Russell] are very much on the same pace.”

READ: Wolff sends warning to McLaren, Aston Martin and Williams over power unit supply deal

F1 heads to Baku in just under a fortnight for the Azerbaijan Grand Prix and, despite it being a street track, it is a smoother ride than the one experienced in Monaco.

Hamilton is hoping that he does not have to contend with the same turbulence as he had to go through in the Principality.

“I am praying that the car doesn’t feel like it does here because here it has felt the worst it has so far with the bumps,” he explained.

“My teeth and my jaw going the whole time, I am done with the shaking. Ours is so stiff that the suspension is driving it back into the ground. 

“I am looking forward to some more open track and I am praying that it is not as bumpy as here.”

Hamilton now finds himself two positions and 24 points behind Russell in the Drivers’ Championship.