CAROL’S CORNER: Many are rejoicing at Hamilton and Mercedes’ woes

© Steve Etherington for Mercedes-Benz Grand Prix Ltd.

By Carol M. Creasey

When Mercedes arrived at Imola we were told by the team’s chief engineer Andrew Shovlin that a substantial amount of work had taken place in an effort to improve the pace of the car, and to cure the porpoising. But in Friday’s free practice it became clear that the problem had not been solved.

Of course this gave the Press an opportunity to stick the knife in, and allowed internet trolls to come out of the woodwork and rejoice at the team’s misfortune. It seems that when Mercedes were on top, their success was often diminished, and now that they’re experiencing setbacks, some pundits can’t hide the joy and glee at the team’s misfortunes.

Even more so with Sir Lewis Hamilton. Many haters cannot bear the fact that he is a serious contender for the title of GOAT, so to see him qualifying in 13th place fills them with happiness and satisfaction. Of course, Lewis won’t care about the negative press, that will only fuel him to fight harder, but hearing the reporters suggesting that harsh words were spoken between himself and Toto Wolff after qualifying is just another example of the Press deliberately creating negative stories. I am glad that when interviewed, Toto put the record straight.

On race day the weather conditions were wet, although rain had stopped by the time the lights went out. Lewis had been in buoyant mood when interviewed earlier, laughing that his aim was to win the race, but once again, conditions were against him. After his pit stop he was almost taken out by an unsafely released Esteban Ocon, and then he was stuck in a train of cars, all within DRS range, unable to overtake. The race was won by Max Verstappen with Sergio Perez in second. An amazing drive by Lando Norris put him in third, while Russell finished a very creditable fourth.

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I have heard fair weather fans criticising Lewis, and saying “he was not trying today”, but I say to them that he always drives with his heart, and because he is a seven-time world champion, he will rise above all the negativity that surrounds him right now. It was telling that Toto apologised to him on the team radio for providing him with an undriveable car, and Lewis’s response was generous, saying he knows how hard everyone is working at the factory.

I have huge respect for Mercedes for the amazing job they have done over the last eight years, but this year they have obviously got it wrong. Lewis has stated this is one of the worst F1 cars he has ever driven, and it is now paramount for Mercedes to sort out their woes. It was not just an embarrassing day for Lewis to be lapped, but for Mercedes too. I hope Toto’s words will herald a wake-up call to the team because I still think Lewis can make his mark this year’s championship if he is given a driveable car. And it will give me the greatest pleasure to see all those sneering negative individuals put firmly in their place. Sport is supposed to unite people, but their toxicity ruins it.

Be sure to follow Carol on Twitter @eagertogo and visit her website!

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