By Carol M. Creasey
Lewis Hamilton had another good weekend in Mexico with a second place finish, and then at the end he recorded the fastest lap. This gave him confidence in the car, and he stated how much he was looking forward to racing in Brazil.
But it wasn’t just about the racing, because ever since he won his first world championship there in 2008, Lewis has steadily built a relationship with the people of that country, so much that recently he was made an honorary citizen. He admires the culture and the food, and of course his all-time hero, who inspired him so much, was the late Ayrton Senna. So, it felt important to him to do well there.
However, once again his car was not easy to drive, and qualifying was not easy. Then, during the sprint race he struggled with severe degradation of his tyres, and finished in 7th position. George Russell finished in P4. At that point it seemed that having only one practice session had affected the car, which was obviously not set up properly.
On race day it was even worse. Starting from P5, Lewis jumped both of the Aston Martins to take P3, but then his troubles began. His car was very slow, and once again the tyres were severely degrading. It was impossible for him to keep that 3rd position, as his car was all over the place. Russell, who was behind him also struggled greatly, and they were both overtaken by cars which are normally not as fast. Then, George was forced to retire his car 17 laps before the end of the race, and Lewis was doing his best to manage all the difficulties he was experiencing with his car. Ultimately, he lost five places and finished in P8.
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The Sao Paulo Grand Prix weekend, where he was unable to get many points, has dropped him even further back from Sergio Perez in the fight for second place in the Drivers’ Championship, and Mercedes also has work to do in the last two races to hold off Ferrari in the Constructors’ Championship.
Their downfall last weekend was of course fodder for the trolls and haters to ridicule and vent their spite on them, but all this is like water off a duck’s back to Lewis. When being interviewed afterwards he laughed when remarking that he only had to drive the car for two more races, and how he couldn’t wait to leave it behind him. Toto Wolff was mortified at the performance of the car, and very embarrassed with what the drivers had to put up with. He said the car did not deserve to win any races.
As a footnote, I would like to add that for Lewis to get into the top 3 of the Drivers’ Championship with a car that is so difficult to drive, proves just how outstanding he is. He has outdriven the car all year, showed patience and resilience, and is now focused on getting himself fit for next year. He also has faith in his team to deliver him a championship-winning car. I am looking forward to next year as much as he is, and like him, I will continue to keep faith with Mercedes. I wonder if there are any other drivers on the grid who would have spent the last two years supporting and inspiring their team to do better in the way that he has. Many of them might have walked away after the injustice of Abu Dhabi in 2021. But Lewis has shown his remarkable strength of character, and that is why he is such an inspiration to many.
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