The Emilia-Romagna GP was another forgetful day for Lewis Hamilton. After missing out over the weekend, the seven-times Mercedes champion qualified only 14th for the race this Sunday, and despite taking positions on the stage won by Max Verstappen, he suffered a bad pit stop and ended up returning to the starting position. The tone he adopted after the test was hopeless.
– I’m definitely out of the league. No doubt about this. But I’m still going to keep working as hard as I can to try to put myself together in some way.”
Lewis Hamilton in the 2022 F1 Emilia-Romagna GP – Photo: Dan Istiten – Formula 1 / Formula 1 via Getty Images
With difficulty, the seven-time champion started poorly, on the wettest side of the track after the rain. He still managed to climb up to 10th and enter the points zone until he stopped his mine on lap 18 to change the intermediate tires, for the wet track, for the intermediate vehicles.
However, the change was slow, and he fell in the rankings, unable to break out of the fourteenth place. A little earlier, his Mercedes teammate George Russell was happier and stayed in fifth place, climbing one position with the mistake that knocked Charles Leclerc off the podium.
Shortly after the race, Mercedes chief Toto Wolff apologized to the seven-time champion over the radio:
– Hi Louis. Sorry you had to drive today. We know it is impossible to drive. It was not the result we deserved. Let’s move on, but I know it was a terrible race.
Lewis Hamilton was only 14th in the 2022 F1 Emilia-Romagna GP – Photo: Dan Mullan / Getty Images
In a few words, the Mercedes veteran answered positively to his boss:
– I know, Toto. Let’s keep working hard.
– We will. Wolf replied: Let’s get out of this.
Hamilton has had a more difficult time with this season’s Mercedes W13. The seven-time champion himself would have chosen to test different settings than Russell, who has performed better thus far; The 24-year-old held the second place in the drivers’ championship until Verstappen overtook him with victory in the qualifying race and in the race on Sunday.
Since Australia, when he came fourth, Hamilton has been racing with the sensors that made his car heavier.
We all feel that as a team. George got at least some points for the team today. I apologize to everyone for not being able to do the same. Everyone tries their best, no one gives up. Everyone is trying to move forward as fast as possible. But I was a sitting duck today – mourned the seven-time hero.
Lewis Hamilton has yet to win the 2022 F1 season – Photo: Alessio DiMarco/LiveMedia/NurPhoto via Getty Images
Hamilton has yet to win in the 2022 season, which saw Verstappen win in Saudi Arabia, and Charles Leclerc in Bahrain and Australia.
With the result at Imola on Sunday, the seven-time champion is now seventh and even saw Verstappen, who was his former successor, jump to second in the drivers’ championship. When asked if choosing different tires in the race would make a difference, he disagreed.
– I really don’t know, frankly, whether anything would make much difference. It was a weekend to forget, for sure,” he said.
The next phase of the 2022 F1 season will be the opening of the Miami GP in the United States on May 8. Mercedes is now third in the constructors’ championship, surpassing Team RBR with Verstappen’s victory and third place for Sergio Perez in Saturday’s qualifying test.
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