GUEST COLUMN: Don’t worry, Lewis Hamilton has been through this before

© LAT Images for Mercedes-Benz Grand Prix Ltd

By Alexia Tibil

Although Sir Lewis Hamilton’s career has been nothing but purely outstanding in every single aspect when it comes to numbers, people tend to forget the fact that he has always had to fight for each pole, win and championship. Nothing has ever come easy, even though this is how it might seem, especially to new fans.

Despite the fact that the car’s performance plays a monumental role in the sport, Hamilton has never hesitated to state that a driver’s work behind the scenes is what actually counts the most when arriving at the track. For sure, you can be as fit as ever and not have success because of the car’s act on track, but Lewis Hamilton has always managed to extract the best from each car that he has been given throughout his mammoth time in Formula One, proving everyone wrong each season.

Entering his 16th season in the sport, Hamilton has been faced with a bunch of different kinds of challenges on and off track each year. Having experienced a variety of changes of regulations throughout the sport, Lewis has always managed to come on top of each change and surpass his own records. 2022, a year like no other in recent history for Formula One, marked to be the beginning of a brand new era, a new generation of cars that are meant to bring the racing closer and make everything more exciting for the fans. While each team have put their heart and souls in order to build THE car for this new exciting era of the sport, Mercedes-AMG Petronas F1 Team have not had the greatest of starts this season. And although there have not been many races this season yet, not only the fans, but also the media have seemingly written off their chances for another World Constructors’ Championship Title. More so, many people have begun to doubt Hamilton and his chances to win that record-breaking eighth World Drivers’ Championship title. After last year’s bitter ending to the season, and then going through a winter break of not knowing whether Sir Lewis would return to the paddock or not, he has managed to prove the doubters wrong without even having a competitive car just yet.

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“There are people that watch and say that I’ve never had a bad car. And I can assure you I have. The 2009 car was very, very far off, and was the worst car that I’ve had. This car currently is not far off that experience, but I think has a lot of potential. As did that car, we fixed it eventually and got back in the fight, or in the game. And I have the utmost faith that my team can do that here too.”

  • Sir Lewis Hamilton in a recent interview ahead of the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix.

Just a few days before lights would go out at Imola, on Scuderia Ferrari’s home ground, while doing his usual pre-race media duties, Hamilton was asked about the state of his W13 and the challenges he has had to put up with this very season. His reaction was more of an “analogy” than an actual answer to the state of the W13, which made people understand better the situation that he and the team are facing at the moment. And so, he compared the W13’s performance with the McLaren MP4-24 that he was given back in 2009, a big year for Formula One as well. Going back to 2009, Lewis’ third year in the sport and entering that season as the defending champion, McLaren have got the regulations wrong at the beginning of the year, but managed to turn it all around by the summer break, and by doing so Hamilton succeeded in grabbing two victories in a troubling season for him and his former team. With his raw talent, hard work and never ending passion for the sport, Hamilton not only overcame every single obstacle that particular season, but also prevailed to prove the whole paddock wrong.

Much like this season, despite the fact that the W13 has shown great potential on a couple of occasions, it seems like the team’s season has started off on the wrong foot, compared to the previous ones. Whilst not having the best of cars to drive, Sir Lewis Hamilton has not shown any signs of backing down just yet. He is here to win more races, achieve more track glory and thus, be on top of the world by winning that eighth Championship that is missing from his glorious sporting resume.

George Russell, Lewis Hamilton’s new teammate, has never missed any chance to praise him, even in these hard times for the whole team. “I expect him to come back so strong, and the way he’s pushing and motivating the team is inspiring,” the young Briton said. “I’m not getting comfortable with this position, because I know what he’s capable of”, he concluded. And indeed, not only Russell, but everybody else has seen what Lewis is capable of, even when the car he has been given is not in the perfect shape. On top of that, former teammate Nico Rosberg, while on commentator duties for Sky Sports F1, has also voiced his opinion on the team’s recent performances and mentioned that “Hamilton will manage because he really is a fighter”. Truly, Hamilton has proven year in and year out that the most important thing to do whilst not having the best “equipment” to compete with, is to never give up and to believe in yourself until the end.

A look back at the other 15 seasons of his career, you could easily see and eventually recognize that he has never been handed poles, wins or championships and not by a bit. Each of the ones mentioned above have been the result of his hard work off the track, elbow by elbow with mechanics, engineers, aerodynamicists and so on. Every time people try to either diminish his triumphs or even not acknowledge them properly by stating that he has “always been given perfect cars”, he has bounced back 10 times better and left each individual in pure awe.

And so, while fans and the media are beginning to doubt his on track abilities, there are always positives to take after such hard race weekends. The fact that Lewis Hamilton is still pushing himself to the limits is always spectacular news for TeamLH, who have been with him through the highs and lows of his dazzling career and continue to never doubt him, no matter the struggles that he has to go through.

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