LEWIS HAMILTON trails his new Mercedes team-mate after 5 Grands Prix in 2022.
Max Verstappen makes refined dig at Lewis Hamilton
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Lewis Hamilton continues to be ‘bitter’ about final season’s world title defeat based on former F1 world champion Jacques Villeneuve. The Canadian additionally claims that Hamilton is ‘making an attempt to not drown’ in his battle with George Russell to be the highest canine at Mercedes after the seven-time champ was crushed once more in Miami final trip.
Russell has exceeded expectations since becoming a member of up with Hamilton on the Silver Arrows, and he confirmed as soon as once more in Miami that his risk to the Brit’s standing is actual. The teen has now pipped his team-mate in every of the final 4 races, increase a commanding 23-point benefit within the Drivers’ Championship.
The previous Williams man not too long ago prompt that his expertise driving a troublesome automotive has helped him acclimatise to Mercedes, who’re wrestling with porpoising points this season. However that can come as no comfort for Hamilton, who’s getting taken to the cleaners by the beginner who’s 13 years his junior.
“I feel we’ve got seen the ultimate altering of the guard at Mercedes,” Villeneuve wrote for formule1.nl. “George Russell is using the wave, Lewis Hamilton is making an attempt to not drown. After a few years of successful with out competitors, it’s onerous to get up and realise it’s not that straightforward.
Lewis Hamilton has been outshone by George Russell in his final 4 races (Picture: GETTY)
“He now has to drive like he did in his first two years in Components 1, which is what Russell is doing now. Within the race Russell took the choice: go away me out, perhaps a security automotive will come – and it paid off.
“Lewis’ champion’s luck appears to have left him, he doesn’t have the momentum and nothing’s going his method. It’s going to be a troublesome struggle, however Lewis is a racer and a champion. He is aware of what must be finished and we’ll see if he nonetheless has the power to do it.
“However I feel lacking the world title final yr is a heavy burden for him that he carried with him all winter. He was bitter and feels that he was robbed. However you possibly can see from the best way Max drives that he didn’t steal the title in any respect and is a deserved champion.”
Ominously for the remainder of the grid, Verstappen has gained each Grand Prix that he has managed to complete this season. Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc claimed the opposite two because the race for the crown shapes up.
Crimson Bull have proven superior straight-line pace over the primary 5 races, and Verstappen is rarely fearful to make audacious strikes and struggle for the lead. The Dutchman confirmed sufficient of that in his ferocious struggle with Hamilton for final yr’s Championship, and Leclerc is but to show the identical ruthless streak.
Jacques Villeneuve claims there may very well be a ‘altering of the guard’ at Mercedes (Picture: GETTY)
The Ferrari star might should if he desires to be within the working come the top of the yr. Crimson Bull’s reliability points have left Verstappen 19 factors behind Leclerc, however the hole might proceed to shrink if their automotive exhibits extra consistency.
Mercedes stay out of the dialog for now, and that goes for Hamilton specifically after a troubled begin to 2022 each collectively and individually. It stays to be seen whether or not the 37-year-old will claw his method out of hassle to ‘experience the wave’ with Russell, or whether or not it’s certainly a ‘altering of the guard’ as Villeneuve predicts.