Mika Hakkinen makes bold claim about Lewis Hamilton’s F1 future

Two-time F1 world champion Mika Hakkinen has claimed that Lewis Hamilton will be “sulking” at Mercedes after the team’s poor start to the 2022 season.

In a complete contrast to previous years, the Silver Arrows have not been competing for wins at the beginning of this campaign.

Their new challenger has been dogged by issues. Porpoising has been a major concern, as well as problems relating to drag and downforce.

Hamilton and team-mate George Russell each have a podium finish to their name, but neither result was achieved on pure pace alone. When Hamilton finished third in Bahrain, he benefitted from late-race retirements by Max Verstappen and Sergio Perez.

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Russell, meanwhile, finished third in Australia. Verstappen had been running second earlier in the race but retired. The Brit also benefitted from a virtual safety car period that allowed him to make a pit stop.

What have Hamilton and Russell said about the car?

Speaking after second practice in Australia – where he was 1.5 seconds off the leading pace – Hamilton expressed his key concerns about the car.

He explained: “It’s just nothing we change on the car makes a difference at the moment. So that’s the difficult thing.

“You’re getting very optimistic, then you make changes, and then it doesn’t seem to be wanting to improve.”

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Meanwhile, Russell also sparked concern amongst fans with his comments following his podium finish in Melbourne.

“Unfortunately, there’s nothing substantial [upgrades] in the pipeline anytime soon,” he stated.

“It’s not going to happen overnight. It’s going to take a number of races. I think there’ll be little things, there’ll be incremental steps but we recognise that our rivals are going to be doing the same, so it may not be clear to the outside world that we’ve made progress because Ferrari and Red Bull are going to be making progress as well.”

Hakkinen questions Hamilton’s F1 future

Mika Hakkinen has suggested that Lewis Hamilton may seek a future away from Mercedes if the team’s struggles are not rectified soon.

The Finn won two world championships in 1998 and 1999. He raced for McLaren in both seasons, with the car under Mercedes power.

After a difficult 2001 season, however, Hakkinen took a sabbatical from the sport. He eventually announced his retirement in 2002.

He told Unibet (quotes via Daily Mail): “It’s a tough spot for Lewis, it’s obvious. The last race in Australia was a tough spot for Lewis – really tough. They got a good result, not the result they hoped for but still good points for the team.

“But I’m sure Lewis is annoyed by the situation. It’s hard to be beaten by Geroge. I’m afraid this will be a really difficult season for Lewis. It’s already difficult for Mercedes, but especially for Lewis.

“George comes from a team [Williams] with little or no success. He had some good results in qualifying but not in races. All these achievements with Mercedes are new to him. Everything feels super-good.

“For Lewis, this is a disaster. And with George being ahead, it’s even worse.

“I wonder how Lewis behaves in the team meetings – I bet he’s sulking. I can imagine the sulking. There’s lots of complaining and whining. And now starts the natural thought process of drivers – ‘Should I go somewhere else?’

“It’s a fact. He’s been at Mercedes for several years and won multiple championships, Now that things are not going well, he’ll start thinking of switching teams.”

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