Lewis Hamilton is having a season to forget so far.
His Mercedes car isn’t up to scratch, causing a slump in results. To add insult to injury, his arch-rival from last season, Max Verstappen, put him a lap down at the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix as the Red Bull driver claimed a dominant victory.
The Silver Arrows’ 2022 is a far cry from their dominance over the past eight seasons. This year’s car is suffering from a severe porpoising issue, rendering the vehicle near undrivable.
Furthermore, a power unit lacking in top-end speed means that Mercedes are far behind frontrunners Red Bull and Ferrari.
A surprise podium at the season opener in Bahrain may have filled Hamilton with false hope. Since then, the seven-time world champ exited qualifying in Q1 at the Saudi Arabia Grand Prix. He also finished outside of the points at Imola last weekend.
Such is the distance of the fall from grace, rivals are now making retirement jokes at Hamilton’s expense.
Helmut Marko mocks Lewis Hamilton following lap-down finish
Red Bull advisor Helmut Marko is undoubtedly enjoying Hamilton’s difficulties. Having stared at the Mercedes ace’s rear wing for many years, it must be nice to see Red Bull so far ahead of the German manufacturer.
Speaking to Sky Sports, Marko couldn’t help but comment on his driver lapping Lewis Hamilton.
“I mean, he was lapped by us,” said the Austrian (quotes the Mirror) on what the Mercedes driver must have thought. “Maybe he is thinking he should have stopped last year!”
The jibe is extra salt in the wounds for Hamilton, who will hope for an improvement at the next Grand Prix in Miami.
F1 is going to Miami
Formula 1 makes its first trip to the United States this season, visiting sunny Miami.
The brand-new circuit takes in the sights surrounding the Hard Rock Stadium, home of the NFL’s Miami Dolphins. Due to the unfamiliar territory, teams will have circled this round as a potential spot for a surprise result.
For seven-time world champion Hamilton, the only way is up following a disappointing weekend at Imola. Critics are quick to jump on the Brit’s failures – but even they cannot ignore his incredible F1 career.
Lewis Hamilton has won more Grand Prix than any other driver, with 103 victories. To go with this, he also leads the most pole positions list, with 103. Furthermore, he has tallied the most points in history, alongside the most consecutive points finishes.
Read: Lewis Hamilton net worth: How much has the seven-time F1 champion earned?
Impressively, the Brit has won a Formula 1 Grand Prix in every single season that he has raced. This includes seasons where he did not have the best car, such as his first season in 2013 with Mercedes and his tough 2009 season at McLaren.
There is still a long season ahead for Mercedes and Hamilton. Whether he can keep up his unbelievable streak of winning a race in every season remains to be seen.
Featured image credit: Getty