Lewis Hamilton, Max Verstappen, Yas Marina, 2021

Why Hamilton hasn’t put Abu Dhabi 2021 behind him despite avenging lost win

Formula 1

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Lewis Hamilton endured the longest wait of his Formula 1 career – by far – to score his 104th victory yesterday.

Winning more races than any other driver in history is no hardship. And Hamilton’s wait pales in comparison to Fernando Alonso’s 11-year stretch without a win. But for a driver so accustomed to success, being starved of it for so long was always going to hurt.

In the aftermath of his triumph yesterday Hamilton admitted he had gone through an “incredibly mentally challenging” time, beginning with the notorious moment at the end of the 2021 season when he was denied what should have been his 104th win, and the record-breaking eighth championship it would have delivered.

“It’s been such a long time,” he said. “Someone just told me 946 days or something like that since the last win.

Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, Silverstone, 2024
Hamilton finally won again at Silverstone
“It’s been really challenging. A difficult time, obviously 2021, and then coming back in with a car that we’ve not been able to fight with for the last couple of years.”

After the trauma of his 2021 championship defeat, Hamilton went quiet for months, provoking speculation he wouldn’t return, then came back with his head held high. When faced with suggestions Mercedes had thrown so much at the previous season they might have compromised their preparations for the drastic aerodynamic overhaul which arrived in 2022, he was defiant.

“My team don’t make mistakes,” he said. “Of course, there is always a risk, but we don’t make mistakes. There’s a lot of very intelligent people back at the factory and I trust them 100%. Whatever we start with today, whether it’s good or bad, we’ll work through it.”

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But the following two seasons proved Mercedes not only capable of making mistakes, but taking too long to correct them. Hamilton was back on the podium immediately in the first race after Abu Dhabi, but he acknowledged it was no reflection of their true pace as both Red Bulls succumbed to technical failures in the latter stages.

Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, Jeddah Corniche Circuit, 2022
Mercedes began 2022 well off the pace
Tougher times followed. Hamilton was 10th in Jeddah, 13th at Imola. He came fourth in Baku but was visibly pained by the bone-shaking ride he endured in the W13 on the high-speed street track.

As the season went on, Hamilton’s faith in Mercedes’ ability to develop a car was vindicated. They made frequent trips to the podium and Hamilton was a genuine contender for victory on occasions, notably at Singapore, Austin and Mexico City.

Finally, Mercedes won in Brazil, though George Russell was the one who claimed the spoils as Hamilton missed his best chance to avoid his first win-less season. He compromised his race in a clash with Max Verstappen which bore hallmarks of the seven-times champion marking his rival’s card for the future.

But if Hamilton was genuinely thinking he would be back in contention for the championship the following year, he was devastated by what he discovered when the new W14 hit the track. Mercedes had persisted with a concept distinguished by its novel ‘zero sidepod’ concept style, but the car was no closer to Red Bull’s pace-setter than its predecessor.

Mercedes responded by making changes to the leadership of its technical department. Mike Elliott, who took over in 2021, initially swapped roles with James Allison, who took over as technical director. By the Monaco Grand Prix a revised W14 with more conventional bodywork appeared, though Hamilton was doomed to suffer a second win-less campaign.

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Hamilton, however, felt Mercedes hadn’t listened to his concerns over the 2022 car, suggesting its successor was an avoidable mistake. “They said, like, we know what we’re doing, you’re wrong,” he recounted. “And that was definitely an interesting moment.

Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, Bahrain, 2023
The W14 disappointed Mercedes when it first hit the track
“I was like, okay, I’ll step back, don’t want to step on anybody’s toes. Then when we got into the season, then we spoke again [they said] ‘oh, maybe you were right.'”

Yesterday Hamilton revealed the depths of the despair he felt during those two win-less seasons and described his relief at finally winning again after fearing he wouldn’t.

“It feels different to previous races and particularly races where you’re having race after race after race, or seasons where you’re having multiple wins,” he said. “I think with the kind of the adversity I would say that we’ve gone through as a team and that I’ve personally felt, I’ve experienced those challenges, the constant challenges like we all have to get up out of bed every day and give it our best shot.

“There’s so many times where you feel like your best shot is just not good enough. And the disappointment sometimes you can feel, we live in a time where mental health is such a serious issue. And I’m not going to lie… I have experienced that and there’s definitely been moments where I felt that this was it, that it was never going to happen again.

“So to have this feeling come across the line, I think, honestly, I’ve never cried coming from a win. It just came out of me and it’s a really, really, great feeling. I’m very, very grateful for it.”

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But in the period between his last two wins, Hamilton has taken a seismic decision for his future, committing to join Ferrari next year. The relief at finally avenging his lost Abu Dhabi win and the knowledge of his impending departure from a team which has brought him so much success, provoked a display of emotion from Hamilton which took him by surprise.

Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, Red Bull Ring, 2024
The revamped W15 has now won twice
“It’s been incredibly mentally challenging, I think, for everyone in the team,” he said. “But I think just knowing how hard everyone has continued to work, knowing how I managed just to keep my head in it, and then with everything that’s happened this year as well, with having so many emotions this year, obviously announcing that I’m leaving and at the same time starting with a car that we didn’t feel that we could win with, to then finally be in a place where we win. And not only that, but at the British Grand Prix in front of my home crowd.”

In that long-awaited moment of triumph, Hamilton admitted how deeply the injustice of the 2021 finale stayed with him in the aftermath. Asked whether finally scoring his 104th win in such circumstances will allow him to move on from it, he said: “I think only time will tell.

Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, Silverstone, 2024
Hamilton ended his victory drought on home ground
“What I can say is that I’m not giving up. I feel like I’m making the right decisions with my life, how I prepare and how I manage my time. The decision I’ve taken, for example, for next year, the commitment I still have to this team, and the love that I still have for this team. And the love that I still have for my job – I really, really love this job, and there’s never going to be anything that comes close to it.

“I’m incredibly grateful to be in amongst these 20 drivers within this great sport that’s having such a momentous time. You just had the launch of the trailer of the movie today, and… it’s a lot. I do hope.

“Honestly, when I came back in 2022, I thought that I was over it and I know it wasn’t and it’s taken a long time for sure to heal that kind of feeling. And that’s only natural for anyone that has that experience. And I’ve just been continuing to try and work on myself and find that inner peace day by day.”

For Hamilton, getting his lost win back is only the beginning. There is also the matter of the championship that went with it.

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78 comments on “Why Hamilton hasn’t put Abu Dhabi 2021 behind him despite avenging lost win”

  1. That race will never be gotten over. A bunch of cars pitted for new tires but only 1 of those cars were allowed to have the back markers removed and positioned behind the car ahead for a restart that was done immediately after the pace car exited and not 1 lap after that per the rules.

    1. Almost as bad as the Miami GP

    2. It was very weird indeed, and Masi lost his job because of that. I can’t even imagine how Hamilton must have felt after AD 2021.
      On the other hand, I can imagine that there have been a discussion before the race that deciding the championship behind the safety car should have been avoided ‘at all costs’. So Masi had conflicting interests: follow the rules properly and remove the SC before the checkered flag. But let’s not open that can of worms again. It’s history.

      1. That can of worms will always be open like a festering wound the sport will long try to hide or pretend never happened. I still stand by the fact it should have ended under the safety car or restarted with no back markers unlapping themselves as then the rules would have been followed and even if it would have been underwhelming it at least still would have been fair. Sure people would have liked it to finish under green flags but no one asked for rules to be broken to achieve it.

        1. People still discuss end of seasons incidents with Senna, Prost, Schumacher etc. 2021 won’t be an exception.

          1. You’re right….the 89 season where Senna was denied a race victory by Prost and Balestere was a ridiculously biased decision. Schumacher 94 was an F1 driver at its absolute worst level of sportsmanship.

            But having the sports governing body break the rules of the sport to make sure you lose a title is the worst feeling though

        2. Sorry Craig, more of a reply to @matthijs
          I agree with you.

        3. 10/10
          According to the race protocol, an inviolable law that no race director has the right to break, the race WOULD have ended behind SC.
          That’s why Mercedes didn’t call HAM to change the tires, because they were fully aware that they had the victory, whatever Masi ordered – according to race protocol.
          It is as if a judge of a common court had the right to change the provisions of legal codes adopted by the Parliament.
          The fault and crime lies entirely with the FIA, which had a ACTUAL LEGAL, but also moral OBLIGATION to restore the illegal breach of the race protocol by the race director.
          The order at the finish line should be the same as before Latifi’s accident.

          1. That’s not quite right. Mercedes didn’t change tires because they didn’t want to loose track position. At this point they didn’t know how long the safety car period would take, nor did Red Bull but they could take the gamble.
            The rest though is inexplicable and one of if not the worst decision made by race control.

        4. Matthijs is right, it’s not just a feeling, there WAS indeed an agreement with masi and the teams to do his best to end the race under green flag conditions.

      2. There’s no need to imagine, that’s exactly the case – and not just in Abu Dhabi.

        The teams all pressured the FIA to resume racing as soon as possible, and the regulations allowed the race director to do so. The ‘one lap too early’ complaint was soundly rejected by the FIA report, as the regulations give the race director full control over the deployment of the safety car.

        The big sticking point was the bungled unlapping procedure. But then again, I doubt there’s any serious argument that Sainz would have passed Verstappen and Hamilton to win. So while it was incorrect, it didn’t really make much difference in the end.

        1. It made a difference- The knock on effect is that Mercedes assumed the race will be finished behind safety car and didn’t take the risk to pit. Sorting out the debris plus getting the lapped cars out of the way would have taken more than 5 laps as we all know.

          I always wonder if Hamilton took tires and slotted behind Max for the restart, would they have done the same procedure. That would have been an incredible finale for the last lap.

          1. Yes, they’d have done the same, it definitely wasn’t done to favour verstappen, just to have a race between the contenders.

        2. The ‘one lap too early’ complaint was soundly rejected by the FIA report, as the regulations give the race director full control over the deployment of the safety car.

          Could you please point out the part in the report where that argument was “soundly rejected”? I believe the report itself didn’t take a stand on the subject, yet the FIA’s statement that was published alongside the report stated: “The Race Director called the safety car back into the pit lane without it having completed an additional lap as required by the Formula 1 Sporting Regulations (Article 48.12).”

          1. On points 31 and 32 of the executive summary, they note that Article 48.13 has led to some ‘confusion’ – but in no way dispute the ruling of the stewards (point 13) which note that the Race Director has a final say and that the message ‘Safety Car In This Lap’ overrides every other procedure. They also note that the various bodies (F1 SAC, F1 Commission and meeting with the team principals) all agreed to try to finish races under green whenever possible. They end by noting some clarification ‘would benefit’ the rules.

            But in the current regulations, under 55.14, the process is still the same. Once the ‘SC in this Lap’ sign is given the SC comes in this lap.

          2. Its an on-purpose misinterpretation, that the RD was allowed to call the SC in, one lap earlier than rules required.

          3. @MichaelN
            There was no “sound rejection” in the report. If there was, I’m sure you would have quoted that part. You are selectively picking parts of the report that support your claim and leaving out others.

            But in the current regulations, under 55.14, the process is still the same. Once the ‘SC in this Lap’ sign is given the SC comes in this lap.

            That is a different matter. Obviously, the SC driver cannot override the “safety car in this lap” message and must come in when instructed. No one is blaming the SC driver for the Abu Dhabi fiasco. However, that doesn’t mean that the RD was allowed to bypass other rules regarding the use of the SC.

            In other words, the question is whether the RD made a mistake that affected the outcome of the race and the championship, not whether the process following the mistake was correct.

        3. But SAI wasn’t given that chance so we’ll never know. A lot of people said there was no harm with respect to the final points for the season but the mid field and lower field drivers were affected. These are the racers that fight hard to finish 10th. Some were still in the process of unlapping when the race “restarted.”

          1. This is the meat of the problem; rules are there to ensure fairness (or at least some measure of) and Masi’s actions (whether purely his own or forced by someone with an agenda of some sort) destroyed that fairness. the attempts to dismiss or justify what was done have been beyond ludicrous.

      3. Or Massi could have red flagged the race so they all pitted for new boots to make the most of 5 laps to go.

      4. It’s deeper than that. Remember who the president was. For that entire 2021 season, Lewis, being who he is, under any circumstance, was not going to be free to walk away with 8 championships to be the new all time great over Schumacher. It was too much for the “world” to take.

        Compare with Tiger and Serena in their respoective “rich people” sports.

    3. I’m not a fan of Max or Lewis, but I still haven’t gotten over the race. I didn’t have an issue with who won or lost, but I did have an issue with justice, and without it – without an adherence to the rules – the sport is jaded for me, and that’s a bit of an uneasy feeling when watching it since then. Maybe this feeling will fade when Max & Lewis retire, but for now, I just have to keep watching the races with a bad taste in my mouth.

  2. I don’t think Hamilton is at the same level as he was in 2021 and the years before. But I still consider him one of the all-time greats and I am sure that I will feel privileged in the future that I watched him race. Just as I am privileged to have watched Schumacher in his prime and unfortunate to be too young to have watched Senna in his prime.

    1. “I don’t think Hamilton is at the same level as he was in 2021 and the years before”

      Wow, what a coincidence! In 2021 and the years before he drove the best car in the field and in 2022 onwards just a very good car.
      Coincidently, you can say the exact same thing about Bottas! To even a much larger extent. Hmmm, what could it be about the year 2022, huh?

      1. See 2023, the best non Red Bull driver in a car that was often 3rd or 4th best even after being DSQ from 2nd in COTA and beating his team mate very comfortably.

        His win yesterday shows he very much still has got it.

        Reply moderated
      2. Yes, it’s a good point, although I wouldn’t call the mercedes post 2021 a very good car, especially before the last few races, it was pretty average for the most part.

    2. @matthijs I think the speed is there. Maybe not the same aggression? Verstappen and Russell are hyper-aggressive drivers, Leclerc knows how to be, Norris not aggressive enough. Hamilton is kind of in a limbo: he was just as aggressive as the first two but with Mercedes dominance learnt patience assured more wins (an attitude even Verstappen sometimes adopts now). I kind of feel that’s lead to a loss of sharpness in racing, and even maybe in maxing out the fast laps in qualifying. However, these may also be symptoms of the self-doubt and despondency he’s been through since 2021.
      I suspect the second half of this season will give a clearer idea: Hamilton has now won a race again, if the Mercedes is at the front with Red Bull and McLaren, the racing should be pretty intense and with not much to lose (given he’s leaving and Verstappen virtually has the title sewn up, unless Red Bull fall behind – with Newey drifting away, possible).

  3. And he shouldn’t.
    2021 was good entertainment but i hope we don’t see a season like that for a longe while because it cheapened the sport in the worst ways possible.

    A lot of pieces had to be moved so the championship could be decided on the final lap of the final race so they could call it the best season ever. A “Hollywood ending” or whatever crap Liberty Media would like to call it.

    1. I mean.. you cannot judge the entire 2021 season on Abu Dhabi. Up until that point; it was the greatest season rivalry I’ve ever seen between two drivers and teams. No seasons (at least over the last 28 seasons that I’ve been watching) even come close

      1. There were suspiciously convenient actions taken before Abu Dhabi too.

  4. José Lopes da Silva
    8th July 2024, 14:21

    This echoes Senna’s comments during the 1992 and 1993 seasons, when he mentioned that the risks he was taking to get a 4th or a 5th place were not worth it. Of course, he did not went home and packed 8 wins of out 32 races in the process.

    Not comparing car performances or probabilities and surely Mercedes was not always or consistently the 2nd or 3rd car in these seasons. Just the way a multi-champion deals with the reality of losing the “place” of a winning car without leaving his team. Because it’s slightly different with Alonso, for instance, when he returns to Renault in 2008 and it’s obvious he can’t win right away. Both Senna and Hamilton, even if they could obviously feel a cycle change (in 1991 and 2021), they were left in some sort of a dead end road, before considering a new team for the future. Of course the driver feels these wins more amazingly, the same way Senna personally valued his 1993 season and especially Donington.

    Hamilton is not subduing Russell the same way he subdued Bottas, so inevitably question marks arise and this win won’t erase them, but not only this is a “feel good” stuff but also makes the Hamilton-Ferrari challenge all the more exciting. Not the least for the duel against Leclerc. We can’t wait for it. It’s a pity Red Bull doesn’t have interest in considering a more challenging driver for Perez’s seat.

    1. José Lopes da Silva
      8th July 2024, 14:24

      Wins combining the 1992-93 seasons:
      Mansell, 9
      Senna, 8
      Prost, 7
      Hill, 3
      Schumacher, 2
      Berger, 2
      Patrese, 1

      1. I think it’s noteworthy that mansell and prost only drove for a single of those 2 seasons, compared to the others.

    2. Not the least for the duel against Leclerc. We can’t wait for it.

      If this keeps up it could turn out rather one-sided.

      Hopefully it doesn’t.

      1. If what keeps up?

        1. The current form, where leclerc seems a bit passive, and discounting the bad strategies by ferrari, he hasn’t been convincingly better than sainz lately.

    3. @ José Lopes da Silva
      Russell isn’t the same level as Bottas. Somewhere between Rosberg and Hamilton/Verstappen level maybe? The same level as Norris, I think. Leclerc is the same or perhaps higher. So yes, Hamilton at Ferrari is likely to be facing his toughest team mate since Alonso. But I don’t think there’s any real decline and agree that the move to Ferrari is a positive all round – even perhaps for Leclerc, who has been underperforming himself. Hamilton’s arrival should be a stimulus for the team and for Leclerc to refocus too.

      1. José Lopes da Silva
        8th July 2024, 15:13

        @David BR Basically I agree with this. Russell seems more consistent in race pace than Bottas. Leclerc reminds us of Alesi, but better overall: quicker, and less prone error. These are times of increased professionalism, so the amateurish attitudes that Berger recalls, about himself, and sometimes about Alesi, in a time where obssessive professionalism was something that only Prost, Senna and Schumacher seemed to cultivate, now are gone. Leclerc is fully capable of becoming world champion given the opportunity – but indeed he seems to lack the will to be the team’s clear number one when it’s not possible to fight for wins, let alone championships (Leclerc fought for the championship in 2022 until Paul Ricard, in my view), the way Schumacher did in 1996 and 2005, or Vettel in 2015. It’s going to be a great challenge for both Leclerc and Hamilton, indeed.

        1. Hamilton has experience of arriving at a team being built to contend but not yet ready (Mercedes obviously) and of competing in championship battles from the start (2007, 2008, all the years between 2014 and 2021). So he should be able to focus in a way Leclerc hasn’t learnt and maybe even Ferrari have forgotten. The danger as I see it is if Ferrari are too far behind in terms of the car and Hamilton starts thinking it’s a lost cause. If Newey ends up there, I doubt the doubts will creep in. If not, maybe they do. But anyhow, the prospect of succeeding at Ferrari, and the new experience there, should vastly outweigh the risks.

          1. José Lopes da Silva
            8th July 2024, 16:32

            “maybe even Ferrari have forgotten.” I was thinking that this makes no sense, but then I realised that McLaren, apparently, lacks totally the know-how to manage the pressure of race-winning and call the ultimate shots, strategy-wise. And, for that matter and also regarding car development, Leclerc lacks a previous world title, unlike Schumacher, Alonso, Raikkonen or Vettel. He his still the passenger and I’m not sure if we’ve passed the debacle of Spain 2023 qualifying, and if the team really trusts his know-how and steering. So yes, you’ve got a very solid point there.

          2. Good point from both of you about ferrari\mclaren having forgotten how to win championships.

        2. Well, the examples you made about 1996, 2005 and 2015 are some seasons where it was impossible to fight for the championship but only go for some occasional wins, and leclerc has 2019 as a comparison, where he was on course to win all races that ferrari won that year, but had an engine problem in bahrain and an unfavourable strategy in singapore, which dropped him behind vettel, and he still took 2 out of 3 wins.

          1. José Lopes da Silva
            9th July 2024, 8:45

            Indeed. My poiny was a little different. In those three seasons the lead driver was always clearly ahead of the team mate (Schumacher, as usual; while Vettel was ocasionally, I think, kept honest by Raikkonen). While Leclerc, with Sainz, gives us the impression that he is the quicker of the two overall but they are on par too many times. Britain 2022 is a prime example, when Ferrari kind of didn’t know what to do because they were battling each other. And if you’re not clearly number one you raise doubts about if you’re really the lead driver the team wants, like happened to Vettel in 2019.

    4. Well, Russell is twice the driver that Bottas is. So, it’s no surprise. Hamilton was far better in GR when it came to races last year and I think he was ahead in quali or if not, it was very close. And quali was the only place Bottas didn’t look foolish compared to Lewis. And even then Bottas was ahead only 1 in 3 races.

  5. Hamilton lost a world championship, the one that would have seen him pass Schumacher’s total, a whole season of 100% commitment, because of a still inexplicable last minute decision by the race director to dump all the racing guidelines, regulations and any common sense he had into the nearest waste bin. And after a sequence of races in which Verstappen’s driving progressively worsened under Masi’s all too apparent latitude in the name of ‘the spectacle.’
    As FIA itself effectively confirmed, belatedly.
    Hamilton had a stark choice: to walk away from Formula 1, rightly aggrieved, but nursing resentment perhaps for the rest of his life; contest the result in the courts and perhaps irrevocably damage the sport he loved and that, of course, made him; try to move on and continue into 2022 and beyond. I think he took the right decision. But moving on takes an unknowable amount of time. He has clearly surprised himself by how long it’s taking. As fans of Formula 1, we should appreciate that fact: a driver totally committed and invested in the sport who suffered perhaps its worst injustice, committed not by a rival but by the official(s) responsible for ensuring fair competition, not arbitrary intervention in race and championships results.
    Is Hamilton slower? Nope. He’s clearly been exposed to self-doubt. I don’t think he needs to prove anything else, but I do think the move to Ferrari makes sense, given his desire to continue racing. I suspect the new challenges and new environment will allow him to get past Abu Dhabi 2021 in a way staying at Mercedes won’t.

    1. Hamilton was also gifted a world title and Max his driving was at no time as reckless as Lewis’s driving at Silverstone.

      He should have gotten a raceban for that incident, not 25 points.

      Only bad thing Max did was a little brake test and he only did that in a race where Bottas literally screwed him by denying Max a pitstop under the safety car and the FIA refused to penalize him.

      All other stuff was hard racing like Lewis used to do.

      Reply moderated
    2. This is definitely biased, verstappen’s driving got “worse” because the last 4 races merc was miles faster, not easy to keep a way faster car behind with drs nowadays, he tried what he could.

      Feeling aggrieved about 2021 means completely forgetting what happened the rest of the season, verstappen should’ve been champion before we even got to abu dhabi with even luck, just think about hungary, baku, silverstone, imola.

      1. verstappen should’ve been champion before we even got to abu dhabi with even luck, just think about hungary, baku, silverstone, imola.

        Hungary – outclassed
        Baku – team incorrectly inflated the tyres
        Silverstone – MV cut right about a metre too soon, so self inflicted
        Imola – MV in stupid mode, channelling his father’s less endearing driving style.

    3. Hamilton not overtaking Schumacher is purely himself to blame for 2016 being complacent at season start (and 2015 end).

      1. Hamilton not overtaking Schumacher is purely himself to blame for 2016 being complacent at season start

        So, not an engine blowing in Malaysia and costing him a clear 25 points, then?
        With the consequent promotion of all behind LH, the net gain for Rosberg was 28 points (promoted 4th to 3rd = +3)

    4. @esploratore1

      When it comes to any so-called rivals of Hamilton, David BR has a tenuous grasp on reality or to be slightly more fair, a total inability to be objective.

  6. Was it just me, or did everyone else see Hamilton blank Mohammed Ben Sulayem, when he came up expecting an hand shake. I’m not sure if he ever got one but those waters run deep.

    1. I thought it was an odd moment too, not sure without seeing it again.

      1. It looked like Hamilton was not very interested, shook his hand while continuing walking. Not the warmest great but still polite. I guess Lewis is not his biggest fan.

    2. Good. FIA MBS is a tool.

  7. Before yesterday. no driver with over 300 starts had won an F1 race– that list includes Alonso, Schumacher and Raikonnen.

    So statistically, there was a very real possibility, with the 2022 Mercedes being such a dog, that Hamilton’s days of winning races were over, and his last, best chance for WDC #8 was stolen from him.

    Yeah, I’d be pretty upset still too.

    1. You mean WDC7.

      His first title was literally a present from two old Brits for a young Brit.

      Reply moderated
    2. Good point about the win over 300 races, didn’t think about it, it’s good he debunked this theory that (because of age reasons) a driver with over 300 would no longer be able to win.

      2021 championship being stolen from him makes no sense though, he had no business being in contention in abu dhabi if not for massive luck over the season, and the luck turned around slightly when latifi crashed (if not, there would’ve been no SC), hamilton was still by far the luckiest of 2021 even after abu dhabi.

      The only thing that was possibly stolen (other drivers lost races they deserved because of SC\VSC) was the abu dhabi win, but the win draught would still be almost 3 years even if he had got that one.

    3. Before yesterday. no driver with over 300 starts had won an F1 race– that list includes Alonso, Schumacher and Raikonnen.

      This is just an outdated ‘record’ (or curse I saw in other posts) not really worth a mention, before the current era getting 300 starts would be pretty difficult, Alain Prost only has 199 starts in a 13 years career, Max Verstappen has 197 starts in a 10 years career and will end the year at 209, so in 2028 Max may very well also win after 300 starts, he could get to 500 starts at Lewis age if he doesn’t retire in his 30s.

      And same goes for people like Leclerc or Russell they could very well join the 400 starts club way younger than Alonso will, it’s like the points records, worthless, drivers start so much younger and have way more races per season it was only a matter of time that someone would win after 300 starts, also that same trio (Schumacher, Alonso, Raikkonen) all had years without being in the sport, they could have gotten to 300 starts earlier without those ‘retired’ years and at least in Kimi’s case he would have a win after 300 starts too (he was only 11 starts short), more worthy of mention is oldest grand prix winner, Hamilton is now 12th on the list and depending on how good the Ferrari will be and how long is his contract, he could surpass Mansell to take 7th which is pretty much 1st if you discount old era drivers.

    4. So statistically, there was a very real possibility, with the 2022 Mercedes being such a dog, that Hamilton’s days of winning races were over, and his last, best chance for WDC #8 was stolen from him.

      Just the trophies (AD 21 and WDC 21) stolen, the thing is, even Horner admits what Masi did was wrong, and even MV fans have to admit to themselves that was actually LH winning WDC #8
      Never, publicly, though. Their world might end.

    5. “Before yesterday. no driver with over 300 starts had won an F1 race– that list includes Alonso, Schumacher and Raikonnen.”
      Alonso has been driving dog cars in his last 12 seasons (with the exception of half a season in ’23).
      Schumacher had a dog car in his 2 last seasons.
      Raikkonen had a dog car in his 3 last seasons.
      And by DOG it is meant – those cars were often not good enought to get out of Q2 or even Q1 let alone getting to a podium!

      “with the 2022 Mercedes being such a dog”
      – Such a “dog” that Russell and Hamilton scored 12 podiums and Mercedes finished 3rd in the WCC that year….

      Dude, you’re fabricating a drama that isn’t there. And you’re convincing yourself to believe that lie.
      Lewis Hamilton is the LUCKIEST and most fortunate driver in the HISTORY of F1, when it goes to how much of his career was spent in race winning cars.
      He hasn’t driven A SINGLE CAR that wasn’t capable of winning podiums.
      He actually hasn’t driven a single car that wasn’t capalble of winning races!

      He had a car you could win a race in for every single of his 18 seasons. So STOP with that nonsense. STOP it.

  8. BamBoomBots
    8th July 2024, 16:00

    Sure Hamilton can (and probably should, why else continue racing?) feel bad about AD2021. But to use the word trauma for that? Let’s not completely void that word of all meaning. Any of the actually traumatised people I know would change seats with Hamilton instantly.

    Perhaps use a word like ‘mental blow’ or ‘disappointment’.

    1. Nuance?
      No this is the internet age. All things way over the top and headlines define the opinions.

    2. Just call it karma for his 2008 title.

      Reply moderated
    3. I agree he is perfectly entitled to feel bad about AD2021. But I think he should also view it in perspective of his entire career. He has had so many fortunate elements coming his way too. I am sure he realises one race does not decide an entire season as he also realises his number of WDC titles can largely be attributed to the stellar car he got, especially now he experienced himself he is not that special vs the others when the material isn’t the best around. But then again, perspective is maybe better served after your career. During your career you need to have a blind believe in yourself. So I can understand where he sits in life right now, but am sure one day he will realise he has been an extremely lucky driver. And there is more to come. Let’s see how he fares at Ferrari. Would add a nice chapter if he can succeed there.

      1. Yes, he should realise that, he admitted at some point, maybe in 2021 or earlier, that he would’ve only got 1 title if he had stayed at mclaren.

    4. It’s so tiring to hear people persist with the fallacy that successful people, in particular athletes or sports stars, are too rich or famous to suffer from mental health problems, or that their suffering isn’t ‘real’ like it is for normal people simply because we envy their lifestyle or wealth. Why do we continually refuse to learn the lessons Robert Enke and Gary Speed taught us?

      Depression is a huge issue in elite professional sport – Michael Phelps, Serena Williams, Simone Biles, Mark Cavendish & LeBron James are some of the greatest to ever take up their respective disciplines – all have spoken out about their struggles with mental health and how it has impacted their performances. The pressure athletes put upon themselves to excel, coping with crippling self-doubt, and yes, in Lewis’ case, the trauma of having to deal with an all-time injustice in the sport’s history conspiring against you specifically, then having to put on a brave face, followed by years in the wilderness wondering if you’ve lost the spark you once had, and whether to continue to commit yourself to the sport you love – I’d describe that as traumatic.

      1. absolutely! thank you for this.

  9. Re 2021, i don’t think Hamilton has any animosity towards Verstappen….he knows Verstappen simply did what any driver would do given the chance. But i think there is an internalised resentment towards the F1 establishment…for allowing such a travesty to happen in the first place. I think he feels let down by F1, that something so blatant could be allowed to stand. And i think he feels let down by a lot of the F1 media, who, at the time, all seemed to bury their heads in the sand, and not call it out. For instance, i recall some punters on Sky trying to justify what happened with “it was good for the show” spiel. The few journos that tried to call it out, quickly got silenced. Johnny Herbert was one of the very few that dared say Lewis was robbed….and he quickly got removed from Sky. Then Ted Kravitz was silenced by RB (they made a complaint against him because he would often mention the injustice of AD2021).

    I genuinely think Lewis would have retired had he won in AD 2021, instead of struggling on beyond his prime.

    1. Then it’s a good thing he didn’t, so he stayed and we can see him fight without the best car, something that lacked from his CV since his mclaren\merc 2013.

      1. Didn’t have the outright best car in 2017 and 2018 (Ferrari was there, thereabouts…AMuS rated Ferrari quickest in 2018) and he did very well. But now he’s beyond his peak. Would have been better to go out on a high, imo

    2. mclaren\merc 2013 days*

  10. Here’s a thought. Yes I know Lewis has signed for Ferrari, but they’re not doing that well right now compared to Mercedes are they? Carlos hasn’t signed a new contract with anyone yet, and his options look a bit of downgrade.

    Suppose Ferrari have spotted that Lewis doesn’t work wonders with a slow car and thought, why didn’t we stick with Carlos. Simultaneously Lewis reconsiders based upon recent successes.

    Could this be contract tearing up time at both Ferrari and chez Hamilton?

    1. That’s just wishful thinking of I guess team LH, a contract is a usually binding agreement, if Lewis feels Mercedes is back now and regrets his decision he could break the contract for sure, but

      1) Why would Ferrari wants Sainz back? they didn’t renew him for a reason, that reason is named Lewis Hamilton, they want him, he brings a ton of merch money and a certain guaranteed level of driving skill, even if Leclerc beats Lewis and they don’t win anything that’s ok they didn’t hire him to be their number 1 driver for the next 10 years.
      2) Ferrari could say no and Lewis would have to pay a certain amount of money to get out
      3) There’s no guaranteed Mercedes wants Lewis back either he could break contract with Ferrari and just end with no team at all.

      F1 is a car racing series, Lewis fans may want to believe he brings 3 tenths or whatever like Alonso used to say but that is not true, you can only go as fast as the car can, no reason for Mercedes to keep Lewis at all costs when they got Russell to be the number 1 driver now being pretty well matched with Lewis and probably making less money than Lewis and they want their new golden boy taking the no2 spot.

      If Lewis breaks contract with Ferrari I feel like Audi would hire him, Mercedes wouldn’t.

      1. Hamilton is not giving up his golden retirement to gamble on Mercedes actually finally sorting themselves out. He’s off to Ferrari to pin his hopes on the 2026 car being the “one”. Remember how good the 2022 Ferrari was out of the box. He’ll have a year to bed in, then a year to win his last WDC and retire. I think his chance has probably gone but I can see why the romantic allure of Ferrari and no doubt a huge contract swayed him.

  11. Oh boy teamLH in full flex again.

  12. Morrow (@surlycowyahoo-com)
    9th July 2024, 20:49

    nah. You don’t recoup a lost championship with one win no matter how significant

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