HomeFormula 1Why the 2023 Azerbaijan GP will be a massive...

Why the 2023 Azerbaijan GP will be a massive race for Lewis Hamilton?

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Sir Lewis Hamilton has witnessed quite a change in fortunes in the top tier of motor sport racing. 

And this turnaround hasn’t been a pleasant one to note by any stretch of the imagination. 

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For a driver, who had cemented his reputation as the leading race winner for the past several seasons into now not even featuring in the top three on the driver standings of 2023, Lewis Hamilton has experienced a dwindling of fate that’s akin to the shifting of the throttle on the Tarmac but whist driving a ruggedly manual car. 

While much of his problems for the better part of 2022 were largely confined to the porpoising of the barely drivable Mercedes machine, the woes of the 2023 machine, at least, as of now are tied to the overall car performance when compared to the Red Bull. 

As a matter of fact, when asked recently about how much time it might take the Mercedes team to close the gap to the frontrunners, i.e., Red Bull, all that Hamilton could share, albeit with a smile was the “whole of this year”. 

The 2021 world champion currently finds himself on fourth (P4) with thirty eight points. 

In so doing, Sir Lewis Hamilton trails a vastly competitive and visibly superior Fernando Alonso by seven points, whilst his gap to the current championship leader, which there being little surprise is Verstappen, is of thirty one points. 

But interestingly, one would note that instead of feeling incessant pressure and the burgeoning gap to the top three, Lewis Hamilton will be looking at the forthcoming race with great excitement. 

If one were to note, then it could be found sans much trouble that the biggest piece of news right ahead of the forthcoming Azerbaijan Grand Prix is the return of James Allison to Mercedes with the Briton reprising his role as the chief technical officer associated with the W14. 

And while Allison hasn’t yet stated on what the exact goal or aim of the team is, he’s stated with much keenness the focus of the team, which is now on how to improve the team’s immediate fortunes. Mercedes, one of several constructors hope that new upgrades will push them back into contention. 

For a driver ever hungry for success, and tireless in his pursuit of improvement, one suspects, could there be anything more rewarding or morale boosting for Lewis Hamilton other than finding an old Mercedes resource return to a familiar role at improving the car? 

Surely, one of the factors that is key to push Lewis to up his game is the sheer exemplary performance put in by his teammate; Mercedes newcomer George Russell. 

Even though Hamilton enjoys a 20-point lead over the King’s Lynn-born driver, Russell’s hardly looked the part of a newcomer at the Toto Wolff-led team. He already outperformed Lewis Hamilton at the recent Saudi Arabian Grand Prix. 

He was all over Hamilton the last season. 

Yet, that he’s adapted to the massive challenge of bolstering the Silver Arrows to a position of prominence, Hamilton will be aware that Russell will come hard at him and this push will inadvertently compel Lewis to bring out his A game in what lies ahead. 

But all of that is presumption. Racing happens on a different plane altogether with logic and often, even foresight playing little part. 

Often, it all boils down to experience alone. 

And purely by that count, out here at Baku, it’s Lewis Hamilton who seemingly holds the edge especially given he’s all too familiar of the track where alongside Fernando Alonso, he’s the most experienced driver. 

Hamilton enjoyed a roaring win here in 2018, an effort that would be followed by a P2 the following year. 

Having won at other street courses such as Australia and Monaco, Hamilton possesses the knowledge of a thing or two on how to contest on a demanding street course even as Perez is largely identified as the street king. 

But the plausible reason why Lewis Hamilton will give it his very best in the forthcoming Azerbaijan Grand Prix boils down to his most recent results here and have less to do with the lone triumph that dates back to 2018, a time where the likes or Raikkonen and Vettel were still around. 

After the cancellation of the contest in 2020, Hamilton’s 2021 racing effort at Baku yielded a P15. Next year, he’d improve to a P4. 

But given there’s been an absolute vacuum of podiums here at Azerbaijan in the recent attempts, Hamilton, one of the most relentless forces of Formula 1, will be keener to push than most others. 

What’ll, of course, go on to make the fast approaching Grand Prix more exciting is the fact that the seven time world champion will attempt to match up to Fernando Alonso and Max Verstappen, two of his toughest rivals on the current grid as also the performers against whose efforts Lewis will try to match his! 

Throw in a sprint race weekend in there and Baku could well enthral and entertain in equal measure. 

So can the force belong to Lewis? 

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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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