(L to R): Max Verstappen, Red Bull; Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes; Circuit of the Americas, 2022

Win in last races ‘highly unlikely unless something drastic happens’ – Hamilton

2022 United States Grand Prix

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Lewis Hamilton says it’s unlikely Mercedes will end their win-less streak before the end of the season after yesterday’s defeat in the United States Grand Prix.

He ran second for most of yesterday’s race and took the lead for nine laps after Max Verstappen lost time with a slow pit stop. But the Red Bull driver was easily able to pass him and pulled away over the final six laps to win by five seconds.

Hamilton said Mercedes “really need to be realistic” about their chances of winning. “The Red Bull car has been the fastest car by far all year and it is still the fastest car.”

He was promoted from fifth in qualifying to third on the grid as Charles Leclerc and Sergio Perez had grid penalties due to power unit parts changes. Hamilton gained another place when team mate George Russell collided with Carlos Sainz Jnr’s Ferrari at the start.

“Today we were in the position we were in through reliability,” Hamilton acknowledged. “If Charles was there, if Perez was there, for example, it would have been a different race because they would have been ahead of us, we would have been on the third row.”

He expects Ferrari and Red Bull will retain the upper hand over the remaining races.

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Carlos Sainz Jr, Ferrari, Circuit of the Americas, 2022
Gallery: 2022 United States Grand Prix in pictures
“Today it was great to have started third and being in a position to fight. But out of true pace they’ve been ahead of us all weekend and they were today and they will be the next three races.

“So unless something drastic happens to any more of them, for example, then it’s highly unlikely that we will have the true pace to be able to compete with them. But we’ll give it everything we’ve got. We’re working on making a car that can fight with them.”

He praised his Mercedes pit crew after they capitalised on a slow tyre change for Verstappen to take the lead.

“Today shows that our teamwork was fantastic,” he said. “I think as a team we operated amazing.

“He had an 11-second stop and he was behind Charles, that just shows how much pace they have in hand to have got past Charles and caught up the six-seconds and pull three-seconds ahead of me at least, that shows some serious speed. But there’s lots of positives as I said.”

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2022 United States Grand Prix

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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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26 comments on “Win in last races ‘highly unlikely unless something drastic happens’ – Hamilton”

  1. “The Red Bull car has been the fastest car by far all year and it is still the fastest car.”

    Hamilton had BY FAR the fastest car in 2014, 2015, 2016 and 2020. Yet in every one of them we saw Red Bull, Ferrari and even Racing Point/Alpha Tauri winning races. Maybe, just maybe when it’s Max Verstappen in that apparently the fastest car (which it isn’t, just look at who got most poles this season and what kind of margins Max had over the next car when he got P1), you won’t get these “pity” wins, because he actually performs at his best level almost every single weekend. Meanwhile Sir Hamilton preferred to crash into other drivers, enter closed pitlane, carry out practice start outside pits or run into gravel on lap 1, giving away victories to his rivals. I dunno, seems like Max is simply much better driver than Hamilton ever was, which was proved by his 13 wins compared to only 11 in rocketships Sir had all these years?

    1. Does it hurt?

    2. The RB was by far the fastest car this year in race trim yet Ferrari and Perez have managed to win races. Max is good but you guys overdo it. Just like Lewis is good but his fanatical fan base overdo it. When Max did not have the fastest car how did he perform? He crashed a lot into others and also by himself (Monaco anyone?).

      When Max wins it is all him and not the car and when Lewis wins its all the car. When you have a team (RB) massaging your ego all the time, pushing development in your direction, favoring you all the time then of course you will be performing at the top level. At least Merc gave their drivers equal treatment and still do by what we have seen this year.

      I firmly believe if Charles was in the RB the championship would have went to the last round. Max is talented but you guys really do like to lick his backside and place him on a platform that he does not deserve.

      1. When Max did not have the fastest car how did he perform? He crashed a lot into others and also by himself (Monaco anyone?).

        Ever since Max stopped overdriving at 21 (reminder that Hamilton at that age wasn’t even in F1 yet), you can count number of his mistakes on one hand. And his probably greatest achievement before stepping into competitive car in 2021, was finishing 2020 season 9 points behind Bottas in cars that were a league apart.

        I firmly believe if Charles was in the RB the championship would have went to the last round. Max is talented but you guys really do like to lick his backside and place him on a platform that he does not deserve.

        Meanwhile I firmly SAW Leclerc:
        -spinning into wall at Imola
        -crashing out of P1 in France
        -outbraking himself in the last corner at Suzuka
        Not to mention all the races when he got either the fastest or 2nd fastest car, yet couldn’t even finish directly behind Max, like Max has been doing last 2 seasons almost every single race his Red Bull was slower than Mercedes or Ferrari. If Max and Leclerc are on the same level, can you explain why Leclerc has 5 wins out of 21 races his Ferrari started on pole position (I graciously don’t count 2 poles in 2021), while Max won 5 races during 3 seasons with his Red Bull on pole 3 times (or 10 victories in 5 years out of 6 poles)? Same talent, huh?

        1. You seem to be very biased, I agree it was an achievement to almost beat bottas in 2020 in a very dominant merc, but then you only mention leclerc’s mistakes? Verstappen’s spain race mistake, where he lost 2 places, where is it? The quali mistake in hungary, which made him start 7th or so, where is it? Where is the 360 degree spin in the race? Where is the singapore race mistake, which made him lose several places and the chance of victory? If you weren’t biased, you would report BOTH leclerc’s and verstappen’s mistakes.

    3. You seem to be in a lot of pain

    4. Max and Lewis are both great drivers. Your trying to compare two era of cars. Max would have won in the Mercedes just as much as Hamilton would have won in this Red Bull.

    5. Michael (@freelittlebirds)
      24th October 2022, 15:28

      @armchairexpert Ricciardo agrees with you!

    6. What I don’t quite understand is the double standards. Back in 2020-2021, both Max and Hamilton were outperforming their teammates by a substantial margin, but when it comes down to Hamilton, “it’s the car”, and when it comes down to Verstappen, “it’s the driver”.

      Hamilton had the fastest car by a healthy margin in 2014-2016, 2020, but from 2014-2016 he had a tough teammate to contend with, unlike Max. After Ricciardo, neither of the subsequent teammates could cope with the pointy characteristics of the Redbull, which was already strong enough in 2020 for Max to often finish second, and grab a couple of wins (with Abu Dhabi being a prelude of what was to come in 2021).

      But don’t forget that Vettel won a record 9 races in a row in 2013, driving a Redbull that was a league above everybody else, and still this year’s Redbull has a higher win percentage than in 2013. Max simply underperformed in Singapore and missed the chance of matching and beating Vettel’s record. So, when is it the driver and when is it the car? I think you just pick and choose what you want, depending on who you want to elevate or denigrate.

      1. hen it comes down to Hamilton, “it’s the car”, and when it comes down to Verstappen, “it’s the driver”.

        A big difference is that even a lesser driver (Bottas) was able to collect multiple poles and victories for years on a row.
        Looking ar RBR we see only a few glimpses of Checo winning and getting pole.
        So the driver is obviously able to get more out of the car.
        The red bull and Ferrari are just as quick or the ferrari even quicker. Its the tire management and the driving style apart from the car that make a difference.

  2. Lewis i think Mexico could bringout the Mercedes advantage as the draggy chassis isn’t so draggy at high alitude…

    1. @macleod Although they’ve quite often struggled in Mexico City’s unique altitudinal conditions.

      1. @jerejj – That was more their engine which was improve last year where they did wel in Mexico and Brasil. I think a lot of people will be surprised.

        1. To be seen. You could also look at it from the perspective that the Redbull will also benefit from less drag, and be even faster on the long straight, while still being able to generate more downforce than Mercedes from the floor, and make their gains in the corners. So, no big change, relatively speaking. Then we have the apparent underperforming engine of this year, compared to 2021. I think Redbull will try to give Perez a win in Mexico, unless he’s nowhere near Max.

          I think Mercedes will do better in Interlagos, sectors 2 and 3. They can make gains there, and be close enough to get DRS on the main straight, get really close, then overtake in the 2nd DRS zone before turn 4. Plus, Brazil might inspire another Senna-esque performance from Lewis. Who knows. Just conjectures.

  3. Lewis is always saying the Red Bull car makes the difference, he will never give credit to Max. However it is the combination of the car AND the driver that makes this an unbeatable combination. Max is the only top driver who is able to preserve his tyres and therefore he wins. Yesterday Lewis already destroyed his tyres in the last 10 laps whereas Max maintained them in good condition and that’s why he won with such a big margin.
    It is hard for Lewis to acknowledge there is a better driver than himself on the grid.

    1. Andy (@andyfromsandy)
      24th October 2022, 11:50

      Verstappen has been banging on year after year that plenty of drivers could take the Merc to be WDC. Lewis is just returning the compliment.
      Do you listen to Brundle when he is out on track how mostly he sees how well the ORBR is going compared to the other cars. Do you watch the races how much each car is moving around in the corners. Lando has many times pointed out even a small slide overheats the tyres. Once cooked they are done or it takes a few laps to try and get them cooled down.
      When the car without DRS is 8 to 10 mph faster in a straight line it is clearly producing less drag and that must have an effect on tyre wear.
      ORBR have the best car and it is not for Hamilton to give anyone the satisfaction of admitting it.

      1. Verstappen has been banging on year after year that plenty of drivers could take the Merc to be WDC.

        And there is proof for this … no the other way around.

  4. Indeed highly unlikely.

    1. Yes, would need to actually learn how to drive that Merc

  5. Well, who knows? Great picture of the two actually smiling at eachother.

  6. If Merc can build a less draggy car next year then Ham will be back next year, fighting for wins at each race.

    Max was 20 kph faster using DRS on the straight vs Ham, that’s close to 0.6s a lap.

    Merc bridge that, then we can have a fight like 2021. Can bear to see Max vs Ferrari again as there will only be one winner.

    Russell is starting to see and feel how bottas/Rosberg felt. If Ham retired at the end of the year leaving George as lead driver , Mercedes would struggle to win another championship.

  7. Their car this year is just not good enough to win in normal circunstances.
    It’s something close to BMW’s cars from ’07 and 08.

    If the drivers play their cards right they can collect a lot of points, and even podiums on good days.
    They’re still way too far from Verstappen though, and have nothing to offer to put a challenge to him, be attacking him or fending his advances.

    The design is way too draggy.

    1. Yes, looks like a good example with that bmw.

  8. Some of us fans habe biased eyes and memory. Whuch is understandable we all prefer different teams and different drivers. For reasons based on nationality, race, ideological, demographics, racism, era, manufacturers, even just team colours. Or which driver smiles the best lol. But please my fellow fans lets try to be objective as much as possible. There is no driver that will not want the best car, fastest, most balanced, easiest to drive car. Show me a driver that will take the slowest undrivable uncompetitive car 1st to prove he is the greatest driver of all. And i will show you Santa Clause (Father Christmas) Fairies, and aliens. (although yhe last 1s may exist… Haha)

  9. By far for me Lewis Hamilton stands out because he has driven against WORLD CHAMPIONS as partners from day 1 in his f1 racing career. He has been apart of many different F1 technology eras. He has won in the 2 teams he has been in. And his partners were always given equal opportunity to race against him and win. Even his pre F1 experience speaks volumes there are races that stand out. If you are a real racing fan you should appreciate his achievements. Unless you have some sort of bias or prejudices. While i am a lewis fan. I am a mclaren and Mercedes fan. For my own reasons as stated in part above. But i also like the ferraris, i dislike Redbull but i appreciate the performance and talent they bring into the sport. But i dnt need to negate Maxes achievements to raise Lewis. As a race fan i appreciate all their efforts.

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