LEWIS HAMILTON is still searching for his first race victory of the season.
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Max Verstappen and Charles Leclerc have been warned by former F1 star Johnny Herbert that Lewis Hamilton could win the French Grand Prix on Sunday. Hamilton has struggled for form during the first half of the season as his Mercedes car has been hampered by porpoising issues. But the Briton has improved in recent races – and Herbert believes he could now have what it takes to secure his first race victory of the season.
“I think there’s a chance,” Herbert told Sky Sports. “And I say that because it’s a very, very smooth surface here at Le Castellet. So I think that is where the Mercedes will be able to perform that little bit better than we’ve seen in the past.
“We’ve seen it get stronger and stronger, especially when we’ve seen him battling for the race win in Silverstone if you remember. But I think they (Mercedes) have a few updates that they’ve brought here. So that’s going to be performance gains as well.
“But throwing Mercedes into the race win is going to be absolutely influential in the championship as well. Because I think it’s going to be seeing someone like Lewis and George [Russell] getting in the mix and taking points away from the Ferrari of Charles Leclerc and of course Max Verstappen in the Red Bull. So this could be a real turnaround for the championship, but a turnaround for Mercedes, Lewis and George.”
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Lewis Hamilton is still searching for his first F1 race victory of the season (Image: GETTY)
Hamilton is set to line-up on the grid for his 300th F1 race this weekend after finishing third at the last three Grands Prix. And Herbert insists Hamilton is more likely to finish first than his Silver Arrows team-mate Russell. “I would have to say Lewis and I say that because I think the experience is something – he knows about winning,” Herbert continued as he discussed which Mercedes driver had more chance of winning the race.
“George does [know about winning] but not in Formula One. George did a fantastic job earlier in the season and he’s still doing a fantastic job. But when the car has got more competitive, then we’ve started to see the old Lewis Hamilton come to our screens as in he’s in the mix, he’s driving better, he’s more competitive.
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The 2022 F1 season continues at the French Grand Prix this weekend (Image: EXPRESS)
“Coming here to France I think we’re going to see the very, very best of Lewis. He’s going to be very determined for sure. You’ve said about the 300 races – that’ll be something he’d like to cap off the weekend, I’m sure, with that race win.
“And I think he has that drive still to be able to get that race win. So I think Lewis still has enough of what is needed to get a race win.”