Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, Albert Park, 2022

“Frustrating” to be 1.2 seconds behind with a “decent lap” – Hamilton

2022 Australian Grand Prix

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Lewis Hamilton says his Mercedes is not responding to set-up changes and he was frustrated to be over a second off the pace despite a clean lap.

He ended a “difficult session” in 13th place, one-and-a-half seconds off pace-setter Charles Leclerc.

“There’s just not a lot we can do,” said Hamilton. “This is the way it is so we just have to drive with it.

“That’s just the frustrating thing because you’re trying to push, you’re trying to catch, and even when you do a decent lap, it’s 1.2 seconds down so it’s difficult.”

The adjustments the team made to the W13 between today’s two one-hour sessions did not improve its balance, Hamilton added.

“Nothing that you change on the car makes a difference at the moment,” he said. “That’s the difficult thing.

“You get in very optimistic and then you make changes and then and it doesn’t seem to be wanting to improve. So we made some changes going into P2. P1 was better. P2 ended up being a bit harder for us. It’s just a tricky car.”

The team has been unable to resolve the “porpoising” problem it has had since the start of the season. George Russell said it is worse than ever in Australia.

“We’re definitely porpoising pretty bad,” he said. “Into turn nine it’s probably the most severe I’ve experienced.

“I think it’s something we just have to deal with for the time being. We believe it’s the fastest way around the track.

“But maybe it’s not. We need to keep digging into the data and understand. We’ve sort of gone from left, right and centre with the set-up and all resulted in a similar outcome so we need to try and get on top of things and understand what happened.”

Despite the car’s lack of pace Russell said he was generally pleased with its balance.

“We’re not in the position where we want to be, there’s quite a few midfield cars ahead of us and obviously quite along way from the pace of the front. So we need to work hard tonight and understand the limitations.

“The car felt alright, it didn’t feel too bad. But it was a bit strange, on my soft tyre I kept on improving and improving. I know a few drivers did that, but it seemed a little bit more extravagant from my side of things.”

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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84 comments on ““Frustrating” to be 1.2 seconds behind with a “decent lap” – Hamilton”

    1. ian dearing
      8th April 2022, 9:30

      Which one?

      1. Luke S (@joeypropane)
        8th April 2022, 14:52

        Chameleon

  1. Good lesson in humility

  2. Even with two races gone I’m still suspicious they might be sandbagging. That’s what years of total domination in combination with messages they struggle so bad does to a mind.

    1. I agree, they may be concocting the greatest comeback in F1 history, all the have to do is keep underperforming until every report is of them being off the pace, out of title contention, lost in setup, etc – them 5 races in turn it all up, tune it in and take the wins from then on.

      They then get all the stories about them, like now, then after the miraculous solving of the problem, all the multitudes of articles once again about them.

      1. Yeah I think Liberty Media isn’t showing the real races where they lap every other car by two laps in every race. They pre filmed every race beforehand and keep the fans happy by fooling us and letting ferrari win both titles.

        1. Yea I heard also Hamilton retired and living in LA making movies and Russel moved to Mclaren to replace Ricciardo but because Mercedes is sandbagging they make it look like they are still driving. It is all have to do with Liberty Media’s contract with Drive to Survive series – Mercedes are paid extra to create content.

          1. Hi @jasonj @qeki , sorry.. keep on dreaming..

        2. Ah but that’s exactly what they want you to think! This is all a big conspiracy to hide the truth – the Lawrence Stroll masterplan of Aston Martin having copied Mercedes so well that they’ve the entire world fooled into thinking they’re the real Merc ;)

        3. Is that you Valdimir.

  3. Welcome to the midfield, Sir Hamilton! ‘Tis a mystical place!
    Surely you have heard tales, and songs, from drivers who finished far behind thee of how they had to actually work for their points and achievements.
    Perhaps now thee will see it fit to avert thy concentration from the competing sport known as Oppression Olympics, and imaginary plights of what I am sure is an extremely priviliged life thee are leading, and focus on what matters: Racing.

    1. The guy has had (and won) midfield performing cars before. The McLaren’s after 2008 were all pretty poor performing along with the 2013 Mercedes and he’s still the only driver in history to have won a race in every season he has competed. Would be a shame if that record ends after this season, was hoping he’d go perfect 100% every season. He’s possibly the most adaptable driver on the grid, he’s driven 4 different eras of F1 cars and been competitive in every season with some cars being quite different and off the pace.

      1. I actually suspect that once Mercedes figure out their porpoising issues they’ll instantly be the team to beat, I suspect the reason they have the biggest issues with porpoising is because their car produces the most downforce. If this is not the case, they have fundamental issues with the car and I doubt they’ll have an impact this season.

        Hamilton has been the biggest politically active agitator in F1 for years now, and it has really spoiled the sport for me, this is probably because of the privilege of having the most dominant car in history. It has allowed him to put his exceptionally successful career essentially on autopilot, and the mountains of money he has laundered through Panama has done much the same for his private life.

        Perhaps now that he finally has a modicum of adversity for the first time in almost a decade, this multi-millionaire, tax-evading, athlete will finally shut up about his politics, stop telling average people what to do with their lives as he boards his private jet and focus on turning the wheel.

        Although, it doesn’t seem to have had any effect on Vettel.

        Modern F1 drivers are more “Influencers” than athletes or racing drivers. I have been missing Bernie for years now.

        1. Well, you certainly have a huge bias against Hamilton! I just can’t take what you say seriously when you pepper your statements with things like (tax evading/private jet flying etc).

          The fact is he has had to work every single season. You don’t become a 7 time world champion by taking it easy, so I fail to see how any of what you have said is remotely relevant.

        2. Hamilton has been the biggest politically active agitator in F1 for years now, and it has really spoiled the sport for me, this is probably because of the privilege of having the most dominant car in history.

          It’s probably got more to do with your political views and how you don’t like them challenged.

          Which, if one were to look at the causes Lewis Hamilton has championed over the years, is probably more of an indictment on you than him.

          1. The point is not his views, it’s the attitude.
            To quote Gervais, “you know nothing about the real world, you are in no position to lecture anyone about anything”

          2. Politically speaking, I am a liberal, and I definitely disagree with everything on television, and in sports, being used as a platform to force feed viewers race and gender politics. Calling it an indictment is a very sneaky way to make it sound as if having a differing opinion to what is being force fed through the tube is a wrong/mistaken stance to have, just for it being contrarian. If it weren’t for the current state of F1, we would not even be having this offtopic conversation, and I miss that.

          3. Thank you.

          4. On top of Moi reminding you of Ricky Gervais, and Cranberry actually explaining it to you, yes, I don’t like having my opinions (political or otherwise) challenged by a millionaire, tax evading preacher, when I’m here to watch said rich kid go racing with his mouth shut.

            Do you realize his tax evasion makes him an hypocrite on almost all “the causes Lewis Hamilton has championed over the years”?

        3. Whilst I disagree with just about everything in your comment, the only point I can refute with objective fact is that the 1988 MP4/4 is statistically the most dominant car in history.

        4. Broadsword to Danny Boy
          8th April 2022, 15:20

          “this multi-millionaire, tax-evading,…..”

          Sorry, which of several hundred current and former F1 drivers could you possibly be talking about?

          I hate to tell you this but if sportsmen going to great lengths to avoid taxes and getting rich bothers you then Formula One is probably not the sport for you. I amazed you didn’t stop watching it decades ago! :D

          1. I can stomach, even envy, all those filthy-rich tax-evading F1 drivers… as long as they are not virtue signalling with their arch-hypocrytical sanctimonious homilies. That I cannot stand.

        5. Emmanuel Jenkinson
          8th April 2022, 15:46

          uhh,

          re. Panama: it was unethical but not illegal. I want to reiterate: unethical, not illegal. There was no concrete evidence that Hamilton himself was directly involved in the scheme, but rather was simply following the advice of EY and Appleby. In fact, some VAT had been paid through the arrangements. Here is everything you need to know about it. I implore you read it, if not for nothing, to better arm yourself with more salient points, if the facts also happen to change your mind – great!. If you choose to hold onto your point, please don’t forget to include Max in however you feel about Lewis’ jet “leasing” escapades. If Lewis was playing checkers, the Verstappens are playing 4D chess. Oh let me throw this in here while I have your attention, Lewis sold the plane, he doesn’t own it, in fact he’s been slowing putting his money where his mouth is for while now, he just recently sold his prized custom Pagani. You don’t have to like the man but we’re not going to mince words that he is actively trying. might not be up to our standards but it’s net progress and I respect that. Its hard for me to give him grief when I just bought another petrol SUV when I could have easily gone electric or even hybrid.

          re: “political agitator”: I want to give you benefit of the doubt here because from these here parts where I’m from, when someone calls another a “political agitator”, it’s not a nice word, it’s a dog whistle. I get you don’t have to share his views but are you going to pretend you can’t even attempt to see where and why he may be acting like this? Do you genuinely need a crash course on Formula 1 and its only black driver – I have the time, honestly. Heck, from your own logic, how do you “miss” someone as controversial and often divisive as Bernie and somehow have issues with Lewis? No I’m asking, how does that cognitive dissonance come about?

          Vettel tells you to respect women and LGBTQIA+ rights/wishes and not litter and you seem to have NO qualms, Lewis also champions under represented communities in alternate massive ways while also telling you take care of the earth and you go on a tirade. Do you think Seb was born in Switzerland? did you ever stop to consider why he may have chosen to reside in Switzerland? Look, the point here isn’t to play whataboutism or divert genuine critique, the point here is to hold a mirror to your logic.

          /E

          1. Emmanuel Jenkinson Well said, I particularly enjoyed “how do you “miss” someone as controversial and often divisive as Bernie and somehow have issues with Lewis? No I’m asking, how does that cognitive dissonance come about?”

          2. I was not commenting on the legality of anything Hamilton, or any of the previous multimillionaire-tax-evading athletes in F1 or any other sports, have done. I was attacking morality of it, which is a fair thing to criticize, seeing how eager they are to tell us how good people they are.

            These modern day “influencers”, with their social media loudspeakers that reaches millions of people, have a nasty habit of reminding us that we should be doing “our part” on every opportunity they get. All the while doing none of it themselves.

            Without a doubt, Bernie Ecclestone is not a good person, but at least he is/was consistent.
            F1 went racing wherever he could get the best, most lucrative, contracts. Local politics be damned.
            After watching drivers kneel for a social agenda that really has nothing to do with F1 or sports, this argument doesn’t fly anymore. It’s not cognitive dissonance to point out the inconsistency between what you hear and what you see.

            I don’t see Verstappen in the media, or any socials pushing social agendas and political talking points. Him not taking part in DTS may well be the best decision he has ever made for his career. Good on him, may I never see him on Netflix.

            The rest of the influencers are all too eager to tell us what we should be doing better, and when they inevitably get caught with their pants around their ankles all they have is excuses and half hearted attempts to polish up their public image.

            None of us normal people are affected by Hamilton having a Pagani, I think it’s a shame a car like that is not under the ownership of someone with actual talent and passion for cars and speed.

            Until I see Hamilton’s pit crew being all women “in the name of equality”, all it really is, is just these social media influencers attaching themselves to the latest trending minority or alphabet peoples to push a social agenda. Just to make themselves look better.

          3. johnandtonic
            9th April 2022, 7:44

            A broken watch is right twice a day and more accurate that The Guardian.

          4. Excellent analogy.
            Bother no more Sir, you are conversing with a hopeless Racist.
            It won’t change his views. Facts don’t matter to such people.

        6. Cranberry I think the odds that once Mercedes solves their porpoising issue they’ll be the team to beat is quite slim. And from what I have read their car does not produce the most downforce. Sounds to me more like they have to change so much with this car it is going to (imho) take them quite a while to get every new thing they do to the car over various stages to work together. As to the rest of your post…not worth going there as I think you’re way off the mark.

          1. I think it was an interview with Horner where I saw him speculating that the Mercedes probably had the highest overall downforce, it was when the sidepod-less design first saw daylight.

            Would be a shame if Mercedes can’t fix their issues and get back up to fighting form. Iäd really like to see Red, Blue, and Silver all competitive against each other.

  4. He’s just describing what 80% of F1 drivers experience during their every single F1 weekend, every single practice, qualifying and race, and that includes former champions like Vettel and Alonso.

    1. Chris Horton
      8th April 2022, 9:38

      ^ this

  5. Shows you how important a good car under you is. Max said it right, give a good drivers need good cars to show what they are capable of. Charles is showing that now. Lewis has been lucky with Mercedes, it built him unbeatable aura around him, but 2021 showed us what 2 good drivers with 2 equally good cars can do.

    1. It seems you only just started watching F1 in the hybrid era? Lewis has been beating a few times before. And yes, he has been in the mid-field before. He knows he needs a strong car to win. The driver’s job is also to find the fastest car to drive!

  6. Missed his moment to retire. Now he’s stuck where he never wanted to be and with no clear face-saving way out.

    1. Bobrick McCauley
      8th April 2022, 10:12

      I can see it easily getting far worse for him too. If Russell manages to get the best out of the car and beats Hamilton, it’ll end any notion of merc not being able to dominate without Hamilton from 2014 to 2020, and could seriously tarnish his reputation. Think about how vettel looked at the end of 2013 vs how he looked 12 months later…

      1. Was Schumachers reputation damaged after he came back and wasn’t at the front ever time? No. He’s still one of the best f1 drivers ever and so is Lewis. People seem to forget a lot of the time they Hamilton has a team mate and he still had to beat them to win all his world championships.

      2. I thought Bahrein 2020 already ended the notion of Merc dominating even without Hamilton

        1. Or just look at 2014-2016, rosberg was a good driver but not one of the best, he was plenty to dominate those seasons, hamilton-aside.

    2. Why should he run away like a coward? One thing hamilton really needs to show is to extract the most from an uncompetitive car!

      1. Run away? Lewis probably spent most of the 2021 Abu Dhabi GP looking forward to his grand exit (a.k.a. pulling a Rosberg) just in time for the house of cards to collapse behind him.

        1. @proesterchen I really doubt that. I really do not see LH just saying after the last race of a season, ok, that’s me done. No, imho there is no way LH will not want to take in the season long accolades he will get once his fans know he is on his last season, and race promoters can promote based on fans’ last chance to see LH live in an F1 car. He’ll want the notoriety and the fanfare (opposite of how Kimi did it for e.g.), so I think we will have ample warning from LH as to when his last season will be. Perhaps he will announce it after this season, that next season will be his last as per his contract, such that everyone can prepare their parades etc. Or who knows, maybe he does a year or two extension on that and goes through 2024 or 2025, but my point being, we will know in advance imho.

  7. It’s not really surprising to see them still a long way off the pace. They are still struggling with porpoising, which means they are either heavily bouncing on the straights or have to raise the ride height and thus give away some downforce. In addition to that their wings, in particular the rear wing main plate, produce too much drag (according to AMuS).
    Mercedes are working on the drag and porpoising issues, but the new parts weren’t ready yet to ship them to Australia. The new (less draggy) wings should be ready for Imola, but they might have to wait until Barcelona until the new floor is finished, which the team believes is likely to reduce the porpoising to a minimum.
    Once they solved these two main issues, they might challenge for podiums again. But that’s still far from ceratin. The big question are: How long will it take them to solve these issues? Is there a general flaw within the design of the Merc? Is their PU competitive enough?

  8. I wonder if this will be the first season where Hamilton doesn’t win a race.

    1. Don’t think so, plenty of races missing, they don’t need to even catch red bull and ferrari, just be up there and capitalise on a crash, I see hamilton beating sainz and perez when the opportunity comes if vers and lec crash.

  9. Jeng Jeng Jeng, expect Mercedes to continue struggling as in 2010-2013 (post Brawn GP), perhaps occasional few brilliant race wins (something like Red Bull 2018-2020), before Mercedes brand quit the sport.

  10. They need a new floor. Mercedes floor is so basic compared to Redbull. A new Floor and diffuser will most likely solve their issues.
    Btw what are the chances of a wet race?

    1. @amg44
      If they postpone the race to Monday, then it’s about 70% risk of rain ;)
      Besides the floor Mercedes is struggling for straightline speed, because their car is too draggy (most of it is down to the wings). At least that’s what the Mercedes engineers have told AMuS.
      They likely also overestimated the performance of their PU. By Barcelona we should get the real picture.

      1. Broadsword to Danny Boy
        8th April 2022, 15:28

        I was under the impression early on that in order to deal with the ‘porpoising’ caused by the ground effect that they had to reduce the downforce generated by the floor and run more on the wings hence creating more drag at the same time, if they can sort the floor problem and can generate similar downforce levels from it as per their original intention then they can set the wings less aggressively and that will reduce drag and they might have a rocket ship. The key words being ‘if’ & ‘might’……

  11. « It has nothing to do with the car »
    Yeah, it had … at least, some.
    But now ?
    Why arnt you running front ?

    Welcome to humility land where Schumacher, Alonso and Vettel have been before him.

    I’m not wishing him bad things.
    But i think it will teach him lot,
    I was sincerly tired of some of his and Mercedes communications

  12. Dear Mercedes,

    This is literally how every driver not driving a Mercedes from 2014 – 2020 felt on every lap of every session.

    Kind regards,
    F1 fans

    1. 100% THIS!!

      1. @geemac Lol so true.

  13. Welcome to the club.

  14. Hamilton is truly a great driver but he lucked into signing for what was about to become the most dominant team in F1 when he moved to Mercedes.

    I know Niki Lauda influenced the decision but there was no way he or anyone else would’ve known that the team from Brackley would be so superior.

    As others have said, welcome to the real world, Lewis. Max Verstappen has driven significantly beyond the abilities of his car in recent years. Can you do the same?

    1. Max Verstappen has driven significantly beyond the abilities of his car in recent years.

      I admire Max for his talent but when exactly did this ever happen?

      1. He’s probably averaging out verstappen’s performances with those of his team mates, verstappen did a great job but to be honest it were albon and gasly that were really terrible when they got their red bull chances, bottas was driving at a much more decent level than those.

        1. Or comparing it to the likes of Bottas, who regularly lost out to Max whilst being in a better car. And even winning the occasional race whenever there was a hiccup at Mercedes.

      2. I think he means Max got the most out of his car which i can agree on.

  15. Did anyone else notice that GR’s rear wing angle looked like a tea tray and LH’s was at a much more acute angle, yet both suffered issues and were slow (relatively)…

    1. ian dearing
      8th April 2022, 11:51

      One was using the first race spec with the other using the second race spec according to reports. Think it was in one of the earlier Merc vids that given current restrictions and where they are in the pecking order, that they are using the flyaway races as extended test sessions. (Which I suppose they all are to some degree.)

  16. Just to remember:

    James Allison said in: 24/01/2022
    Mercedes Formula 1 chief technical officer James Allison has warned that “one or two cars on the grid will have got it really badly wrong” at the start of 2022 thanks to the magnitude of the rules overhaul, which he says “dwarfs” those he has experienced before;

    Lewis Hamilton said in: 07/03/2022
    “My team dont make mistakes”

    Or will it just be sandbagging………

    1. Mercedes and the rest of the Mercedes cars he missed only 2 teams…

  17. IfImnotverymuchmistaken
    8th April 2022, 11:09

    Oh, how the turntables…

  18. I remember when the McLarens weren’t the fastest but usually 2nd or 3rd best of the field which led to some great performances from Lewis but a few mistakes as well. He seems to have cut out the mistakes but does he have that ability and/or hunger to “outdrive” the car like he did between 2009-2013?

    1. Yes, that’s what I’m wondering too, especially in 2009, the race remembered as liegate, australia, was actually impressive for him cause it was early in the season and mclaren was really bad and he got up to fighting for the podium.

    2. Naughty Neutral
      8th April 2022, 14:16

      You mean the ‘greatest’ isn’t as sharp because he had a car that was so much better than the rest for seven years?

      He can’t even stay ahead of his teammate…

      Maybe it’s time for Lewis to admit most of his WDCs were entirely due to his car…

      GCOAT!

      1. @Naughty Neutral I’m not Hamilton fan and talk of him being the GOAT in my opinion because of his WDCs in that beast of a Merc is nonsense. However I am of the opinion that him and Alonso are the great drivers of their respective generations of drivers, Alonso of the early noughties (the era of him Montoya, Kimi, Button, Webber) and Hamilton of the mid to late noughties (the era of him, Vettel, Rosberg, Kubica) and easily the best and only drivers up there with Schumi, having only watched F1 from 1996 onwards. We wait to see what the likes of Max, Leclerc, Russell etc achieve.

        Just a shame we really only had a few seasons of them against each other and a couple of WDC fights between them.

    3. “He seems to have cut out the mistakes…”

      Not sure last year gave much evidence of that. Imola and Silverstone being the stand outs but also Monza, Saudi and Abu Dhabi where he’s been lured into messy clashes which a smarter driver might have avoided to fight back later in the lap.

  19. I can’t be the only person who would absolutely love to get a paddock (i.e., competitor) view of Merc’s troubles.
    When they introduced the sidepods, the Italian and German media were quoting paddock insiders as “it’s all anyone can talk about” and that in Barcelona, everyone knew this was going to be the big thing – a second a lap faster than anyone! Revolutionary!
    Now, either the paddock insiders weren’t all that inside, or the media were embellishing quite a bit. What’s the story? And is there any Schadenfreude in the paddock on Merc’s struggles with the ‘one second faster car’?

  20. Too bad for him, but personally I’m happy. Actually, wouldn’t mind not seeing a Mercedes on the podium again in the next 5 years.

  21. AllTheCoolNamesWereTaken
    8th April 2022, 12:18

    Not gonna lie – I don’t particularly miss the times when the words, “Get in there, Lewis!” were heard at the end of every other Q3 session and then again at the end of every other grand prix.

    I do kind of feel sad for Russell, though. The guy spent three years in one of the worst cars on the grid as he tried to earn a promotion to the works team, and by the time he finally gets there (arguably a year later than he deserved), the team is no longer competitive. I know he puts on a brave face, but I wouldn’t blame him if he secretly felt more than a little frustrated.

    It’s still early days, though. I wouldn’t bet against Merc winning at least a couple of races before the season is over. I just hope that at least one of those wins will be Russell’s.

    1. Wait a sec, russell still got a significant car improvement compared to where he comes from!

      1. Yes Gearge can use the experience before he moves to Ferarri…. I don’t think that was in his planning whne he was in Williams. It’s not that Mercedes suddenly dropped to the last spot they will struggle for some races but will fix their problems.

  22. Given that the Ferrari is bouncing like mad, Mercedes speed deficit isn’t down to porpoising alone.

    There must alot of basic things wrong with the car to not be able to perform.

    1. I’ve read flexing chassis, overweight, not making enough downforce. New floor coming followed by wings and side pods. ie. I envision a rethink going on for them. And of course the changes have to be quite deliberate because of the budget caps, so to me it seems like they will make changes but that a real challenge will be selecting where to place their money on which design of which changed component in the hopes that everything, once changed, will work in harmony from front to back.

  23. The biggest change is the PU. Everyone else has equivalent power or passed Mercedes entirely, and now those rules are locked in until 2026. Kind of like what Mercedes had locked in at the start of the turbo-hybrid era, which is why they won 7 double championships. If they walk away now, that will be very sad.

  24. Merc are putting all their problems down to porpoising yet Ferrari have arguably the fastest car and are suffering it too. That doesn’t make sense to me. Leclerc said his car doesn’t need to be comfortable, only fast. It seems the Merc is uncomfortable and slow.

    1. G I’m not convinced Mercedes are putting all their problems down to porpoising, although Russell did say that if they solve that they will solve 99% of their problems, but then that was him saying that while the team scratches their collective heads as to what to do. I have read a surmising that the Mercedes chassis is flexing, that they are overweight (which most cars are anyway from what I gather), and they don’t make enough downforce, and I’m not even convinced that is just because they have to run the car high for now or suffer even worse porpoising. I read that they just lack downforce in general. So apparently it is going to be a re-designed floor first once they’re back in Europe, and then wing and sidepod work in following races after that, and I’m sure like all teams they will be trying to lose weight too. Some have said this may take months but of course we’ll know when we know. It all just has to play out and they can’t do everything at once. And all these changes they make are going to have to work together, as we know.

      1. @Robbie
        I’d say privately they aren’t blaming it all on porpoising, it just seems to be their official explanation for their lack of pace.

        1. Agreed.

  25. Weren’t you the goat?

    Couldn’t you win all the F1 races in a Nissan Micra while sleeping with eyes blindfolded, and hands tied at your back?

    Maybe, just maybe that all those wins had a wee little bit to do with driving a dominant car? and (oh the heresy!) free crane rides when you had some use for them?

    1. Of course the thing about the ‘free crane ride’ was that he managed to wrangle that crane when he was still only a rookie driver! – so, a great example of thinking outside the box, initiative and skill at persuasion. FIA declared it legal (at the time). As for the rest, you really don’t think Hamilton will be back fighting at the front again at some point? Dream on. Last season Verstappen was more consistent, but it remains my view (and of some others) that Hamilton’s driving at the end of the season showed while he is still the best driver on the grid, a notch above Verstappen. GOAT? Who knows. Impossible to judge.

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