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Saudi GP ’22: What Seems To Be The Problem With Lewis Hamilton?

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The 2017 Brazilian Grand Prix wasn’t the finest race in the career of Lewis Hamilton, a world-beating multiple World Champion and the only driver since the great Michael Schumacher to clinch seven world titles.

But even in that Grand Prix at Interlagos, Hamilton, who started from the pitlane, having failed to set a time in addition to involving power unit changes in his Mercedes, was able to climb his way up to finish fourth.

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It was a valiant drive. But it’s one that has been recounted perhaps innumerably so in the last few hours ever since we saw the qualifying formalities complete at the Jeddah track.

It’s a venue where Lewis Hamilton, a pro in qualifying, someone with 103 pole positions to his name, was able to manage a lowly fifteenth.

To many, the result has still not sunk in.

Therefore, it’s also the first-time in the past half a decade of the Briton’s racing career where he’s found himself knocked out in Q1.

So shocking was the sight that it didn’t take long for the meme-making fraternity to see the light side of the event on Twitter as many went on to post the face of Toto Wolff next to Hamilton’s W13 with the caption, “Lewis, I said P1 not Q1.”

But while Hamilton was knocked out, revealing later that “I want to go home,” when asked what his plans are, his teammate George Russell managed a fighting sixth with the same car.

So this obviously throws open a can of questions.

What’s exactly wrong with the W13 Mercedes? Is this even a championship-winning car and what may have possibly gone wrong on a rather painful-to-endure gloomy even Jeddah evening where one saw Mick Schumacher crashing out in Q1 at not less than 170 miles an hour?

For starters, to take cognizance of just how underperforming Hamilton’s Mercedes was last evening, it helps to know that the champion driver was initially seven-tenths down on his teammate (opening run- first sector).

Revealing in the aftermath of what was clearly an uneventful outing for him and his team, Lewis Hamilton shared that,”It’s my own fault, I made some set-up changes before confessing that the car was actually undrivable.”

That said, to get a real sense of the Mercedes’ existential woes is to understand the fact that the W13 is actually PORPOISING!

So what is that after all?

It’s the situation where a car bounces as it loses and then, regains downforce. The modern Formula 1 cars are heavily reliant on downforce to function with manic speeds to give drivers ascendancy on the race track.

But from what one gathers, the main struggle with the W13 is that it is awfully out of shape on the overall balance of the car.

While Hamilton has repeatedly maintained that there are some areas to be fixed in order to bring out the best potential of the car, it seems so far, none of that has worked out with any affirmative answers.

Perhaps some doubts may have immediately risen when the team unfurled the car upfront, with drastically slimmed-down sidepods and a reworked floor.

What we know is that a true great of the sport, who’s clearly in the 2022 fight to claim another world title, is struggling. What we don’t a great deal about is what permutations and combinations will Hamilton experiment with if he’s to gather momentum and finally begin to peak.

For where it is right now, his car set-up is far from ideal and with others, most noticeably, the pacier duo of Sainz and Leclerc going great guns, nothing seems to be going the Stevenage-born’s way.

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Dev Tyagi
Dev Tyagi
Dravid believer, admirer of - the square drive, Drew Barrymore, Germany, Finland, Electric Mobility, simplicity and the power of the written word! Absolutely admire contributing to KyroSports

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