Updated 05/24/2022 08:33
- Lewis Hamilton broke through the field in Barcelona after an early collision to finish fifth.
- Hisar trip was reminiscent of the glorious title times for Mercedes.
- Hamilton’s fifth place is an impetus and a sign that the Silver Arrows may soon be back in the title fight.
Lewis Hamilton wanted to give up. Park his Mercedes and enjoy the drive easily. He wasn’t in the mood for another meaningless run into the gray midfield in the sixth race of the season in Barcelona with no prospect of anything happening. But in the end, there was not just fifth place, but two realizations: Mercedes is back – and so is seven-time world champion Hamilton after riding the real Hussar.
“A race like this looks better than winning,” said the 37-year-old, who was then delighted that his team had asked him to stay and his wish was ignored. “Of course I’m glad we didn’t, it just shows once again that you can never give up,” said Hamilton.
Hamilton did not want to use the engine
Hamilton got his silver arrow flat on the first lap after just four corners after colliding with Haas driver Kevin Magnussen and falling into the pits. Hamilton expressed the idea of giving up when he returned to the track after a 40-second tire change. “It was about the lack of engine wear so I can drive around the whole race last and then maybe risk a penalty later in the year when durability plays a role,” Hamilton explained. But instead of surrendering, the attack followed.
“It was a rollercoaster for Lewis again,” said former world champion Damon Hill. “The World Champion’s Journey, Out of Nowhere”. Hamilton also felt that “this comeback reminded me of some of my previous races. It feels great.”
Memories of the dominant World Cup years
Not forgetting that Hamilton’s teammate, George Russell, who ran a trouble-free race, finished third on the podium. Above all, Hamilton, who was chosen by fans as the driver of the day, was celebrated. Mercedes team boss Toto Wolff believes that without the holeshot, Hamilton was “in a position to drive towards victory”. The race also brought back memories of Austrian racing “from the world championship years, where we had a car that we could still win from behind”.
This is the key word: win. After tough weeks with the new car, it appears Mercedes is heading in the right direction. “Learning by doing,” as Wolff calls open-heart surgery so to speak, “understand step by step what we need to do to restore the car’s performance,” says Wolf.
Finally, the so-called “porpoises”, jumping on the strait, brought Mercedes under control. With the update at Barcelona, the team is no longer about constantly solving problems over the race weekend, but about finding more performance. “We can now focus on getting more potential out of the car,” Russell said. Ideally, soon the maximum.
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Drivers are cheerful. “We’ve turned the tide,” said Russell. “Now the season really begins for us.” “We’ve lost six races but there’s no reason why we can’t come back.”
Because Barcelona could be a turning point. “We’re a second behind, now there’s only half a second left, and we finally got a better understanding of the car,” said Wolff, who announced. Combined with the strong motivational thrust from Barcelona’s result, this can certainly be understood as a declaration of war. “There are good reasons to believe that we will soon win races again and may still be able to fight for two world championships,” said Wolff.
Read also: Hot drama in Barcelona: Verstappen rages on and still wins
Behind the duel with Russell
Hamilton also believes that wins are “definitely” possible in the near future. His personal problem: Despite his impressive drive forward, he continues to lose his inner duel with Russell regularly. He is fourth in the overall standings, 36 points behind world championship leader Max Verstappen. Hamilton is sixth with a 64-point lead. But Barcelona have shown that giving up is not an option.
- Sky TV broadcast
- press conferences
Rarely have Formula 1 teams embarked on an uncertain future like they did in 2022. Even the pre-season was dominated by the new rules in some mobile homes and in workshops and design studios. It will come into force in 2022. That’s why new cars look this way. © ProSiebenSat.1