Formula 1 – Season 2022 – Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes), bruised driver but potential champion

Lewis Hamilton knows all too well what this sense of disappointment is, of destruction after believing in the ultimate reward. His journey even started there. Young and carefree in 2007, he had come within three meters of commitment during his first season in Formula 1. Three metres, the width of the Chinese gravel catcher that had caught him in the pit lane of the Shanghai circuit, which he had also entered quickly, with tires too slippery on greasy ground; in short, a gross beginner’s mistake, for which he had taken full responsibility afterwards.

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“When I got out of the car I had the balls, for me and for the team. I haven’t made a mistake all year and there you go…”he blurted out. “He came to apologize to the team and even sat on the wall with us for a few minutes, which is quite brave of him”McLaren CEO Martin Whitmarsh had underlined.

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It was certainly not easy to recover from such a setback and yet: from the following season, the Briton had bounced back, served by an incredible Brazilian final of which he had once again become the lucky protagonist in the last rainy round.

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Winning is the best medicine

Lewis Hamilton is therefore ready to start again, to rise from the ashes like the Phoenix. Baffled by the brutal outcome of the 2021 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, he took refuge in a heavy silence that he expected no one to say anything about – but how could it be otherwise? He broke this silence only on February 5 in a message announcing: “I was gone. I’m back”† Thirteen days later it was time for the adjustment. “I really had to take a step back (…) I never said I would stop”he assured during the presentation of his Grand Prix Mercedes.

And especially the counter-attack, as he expresses his residual bitterness about this failing federal system in which he… “a little lost faith”. It had to come out and the commissioners “impartial” names for their numbers. Not all of them, of course, but certain nefarious culprits to whom he has set the roadmap for the 2022 championship: making objective and coherent judgments about the incidents that are sure to punctuate the battles on the track. He paid to see and he has only two years left to get back this 8th crown that should never have escaped him.

A tailor-made scheme to attack

There are two different roles in sport: winner and victim. Lewis Hamilton has pitched, taken the emotional lift and is now playing on velvet. This failure sparked empathy, he hasn’t complained since the dramatic turn of events on December 12, but he doesn’t want to be forgotten before repairs are made. Which will be only that of the time, but of the justice he intends to get behind the wheel. It doesn’t matter to whom, ’cause he said it, “Max had nothing to do with it.” His new teammate George Russell at Mercedes like Charles Leclerc at Ferrari would also suit him perfectly if the first disappointed in his ultimate glory.

Lewis Hamilton does not run on grudges, it would be wrong to know him. His fuel is his passion for driving, this curiosity for technical developments and the admiration he has for the discoveries made by the men and women of the “Chassis” factories in Brackey and the “Moteur” factory in Brixworth. At 37, there is no doubt that the total reset imposed on the paddock by the return to ground effect single-seaters is an exciting challenge for him. If the first quality we recognize in him is that he is an unstoppable attacker, then the new facilities to track another single-seater in close combat are there to flatter his pilot’s DNA. And the huge construction site represented by the race cars of 2022, the field of action he dreamed of expressing his technical sensibility.

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So of course we will have to maintain a tiresome calendar of 23 dates, a record, which forces the teams to rotate their workforces and the FIA ​​to alternate its race directors. At the age of 37, he must feel the specter of decay rising in his mind that he will soon be fighting. Without being scared. We can trust him on the quality of his preparation and he has had no warning since the heat stroke on the Hungarian stage that raised fears of the consequences of a long Covid at home. In his tenth year of title race, he kept up the pace and Helmut Marko paid indirect tribute to his stamina by stating that Max Verstappen, washed out by his year, wouldn’t make old bones in Formula 1 if he gave him such intensity every time. would impose years.

Lewis Hamilton is aiming for an eighth title for the reasons known to us, but is no longer chasing records than before. The statistical barriers he breaks regularly continue to amaze him, which is why he will never be dulled. The 2022 technical revolution is there to shelter him from the routine and the grands prix to come could soon give him a place a little more special in F1 history. For example, Bahrain could break its 16th record season on Sunday with at least one win on the clock. Enough to launch his record-breaking campaign centered on Michael Schumacher’s, whom he hopes will leave in his rear-view mirrors by the end of the season with an eighth title.

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