By Carol M. Creasey
When asked by the media, Lewis insisted that although it holds painful memories of last year, when he was denied his eighth championship because of safety car rules not being followed, he was focussed on now, and on doing the best that he could.
The pace of the Silver Arrows looked promising in Free Practice 1, where they were 1 and 2, but by the time qualifying came around, the order had changed. Lewis qualified in 5th place, whereas Russell was 6th.
At the start of the race, Lewis did a good one, but after a fight for position with Carlos Sainz, he had to go off track, and then came out ahead of the Spaniard. He was asked to give the position back, which he did, but after bumping over the kerbs it seemed that he had damage, as his car slowed down, and Russell got past him. Even though his car was lacking in performance, he fought on until he went in for a pit stop, coming out in 9th place. In the meantime Russell had pitted and was given a 5 second penalty for an unsafe release, to be served during his next pit stop.
Lewis continued to fight his way back to 4th place. Having taken hard tyres, he was going to the end without another pit stop. He queried this decision with his team, but by then he had only 6 laps left, and continued on even though he felt he should have been brought in. Sadly, just 3 laps from the end he was forced to retire with a hydraulic issue. Verstappen won, Leclerc was 2nd, and Perez 3rd.
Many trolls have used this season as an excuse to spew the vitriol and hate towards Lewis Hamilton, calling him ‘a failure’, ‘past it’, and even worse descriptions which are too graphic to share. This has upset many fans, who faithfully follow the Briton, so whilst they are airing their views, here are mine.
If you like SilverArrows.Net, consider supporting us by buying us a coffee!
I have proudly supported Sir Lewis Hamilton since he won his first championship back in 2008. I missed the 2007 season, when as a rookie he matched, and at times beat, his team-mate Fernando Alonso, who has seemingly never been able to get over that. I have watched him clinch 6 more championships and felt even prouder when he was knighted in 2020. I watched with amazement, like many others, when his eighth championship was denied to him on the last lap at Abu Dhabi last year.
Even though in 2022 Mercedes did not give him a car that was able to fight for the championship, he never faltered in his determination to help the team to get it right. He did all the experiments in the earlier part of the year, which enabled his team-mate to take more points, but he said he didn’t mind, as they were not fighting for a championship.
Of course all the trolls made their glee obvious. People, including the media, spoke about his team-mate ‘outperforming him’, without looking at the bigger picture. A lot has been made about the fact that this year he did not score a win or a pole, but still he said the most important job he had was to ensure the car would be right for 2023. Lewis Hamilton did the best he could with the machinery he was given. This year he finished on the podium on 10 occasions, 2nd – 5 times, and 3rd – 5 times. Mercedes team boss Toto Wolff has admitted Lewis has given the team strength and support, which helped them get through a difficult year, a year which culminated in a DNF for him in the final race.
I am sure that next year Mercedes will have a much more competitive car, which will benefit Russell as well, and they can both fight to be at the front. We know that Red bull will be hard to beat, as they have a big advantage having breached the 2021 cost cap, but what I do know is when Lewis starts winning again, and he will, all those trolls will vanish off social media as quickly as they appeared.
Finally, I’m wishing George, Toto and the whole of Mercedes a great winter break. I know they will regroup and come back stronger. And thank you Sir Lewis for inspiring them, and so many others, with your resilience and positive attitude.
The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of SilverArrows.Net.
If you would like to write a Guest Column for SilverArrows.Net check out the details here!