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"I'm out of it," says Hamilton of title fight

NEWS STORY
25/04/2022

Finishing the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix in 12th, a lap down on the winner, Lewis Hamilton writes off his 2022 title chances.

It's hard to say what moment over the course of the Imola weekend represented the most stark indication of where Mercedes and Lewis Hamilton are right now.

There was that infamous exchange with Toto Wolff at the end of qualifying on Friday, then the distant run to 14th in the Sprint. On Sunday there were the 44 - count 'em 44 - laps he spent staring at the back of Pierre Gasly's AlphaTauri, not to mention the ignominy of being lapped by his nemesis, Max Verstappen, on Lap 40.

Little wonder then that come race end, the seven-time world champion was writing off his hopes of securing a record eighth this season.

"A weekend to forget, that's for sure," said Hamilton. "I'm out of it, for sure, there's no question about that, but I'll still keep working as hard as I can to try and somehow pull it back together somehow.

"It was so painful, there are no words for it really," he admitted. "We were hopeful we would get into the top ten and if we weren't stuck in the train we would have had the pace to get into the top then. But that wasn't possible today."

Clearly at a low ebb, despite the shortcomings of the car Hamilton accepts some of the blame for the poor Imola performance and apologised to his team.

"We're obviously not fighting for this championship," he said. "But we're fighting to understand the car and improve and progress through the year. That's all we can hope for right now.

"It's been difficult and it's definitely not easy, but we all feel it as a team," he added. "At least George got some points today for the team, so apologies to everyone that I wasn't able to do so.

"I think the team is, as I said, everyone is feeling it and everyone is head down, trying their best," he insisted. "I’ve definitely had lower moments, so it’s not the lowest, for sure. So there's no one that's giving up and everyone is just trying to move forward as fast as they can."

Of course, having dominated for so long, as his struggles continue, there were some only too keen to twist the knife.

"He was lapped by us," Helmut Marko told Sky Sports News after the racer. "Maybe he is thinking he should have stopped last year."

Meanwhile, Sky pundit and former teammate to Hamilton, Nico Rosberg appeared to be relishing the Briton's demise, never missing an opportunity to point out how badly the seven-time champ was doing, whilst pouring praise on teammate Russell.

Check out our Sunday gallery from Imola, here.

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1. Posted by kenji, 27/04/2022 0:50

"After some serious analysis of past experiences I have come to the conclusion that I still harbour a tiny degree of angst towards the 'three pointed star'....when I retired, almost thirty years ago, I gave up the corporate entitlements amongst which was my choice of BMW's every two years. I switched to Mercedes and so began a love hate relationship! All told i had four of them over the first few years but the veil of motoring superiority failed miserably, so much so that the second last car i purchased was a total 'dud' and i refused to drive it after some six months of continual failure. Despite Mercedes smug attitude they gave me another new one which wasn't much better. In disgust I ditched it and changed my allegiance to Audi of which I have since owned six over the ensuing years. They weren't totally trouble free but were light years better than what Mercedes was offering. Today Mercedes appear to be back up there where they used to be and they supply superior designed vehicles however there still exists some clouded judgement on my behalf ...mea culpa."

Rating: Positive (1)     Rate comment: Positive | NegativeReport this comment

2. Posted by ChickenFarmerF1, 26/04/2022 14:14

"As to why Lewis isn't running with George, my best guess is, he's old (for an F1 driver) and can't handle the porpoising as well. Once they manage to solve that porpoising problem I wouldn't be surprised to see the two running more or less together. Assuming Lewis's heart is still fully in it by then."

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3. Posted by kenji, 25/04/2022 23:13

"@ Bill Hopgood....Para 4... We do know how fast the car is. It's precisely as fast as the race results show, in it's current configuration, including the drivers.Most cars are experiencing some level of 'bounce' and we know how fast they are as well...comparatively speaking. Knowing that, then short of redesigning a new/different car they qpparently do not know what to do otherwise they would've done it. You can't unlock a door when no lock has been fitted! Some serious head scratching being done at Mercedes I should think"

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4. Posted by Bill Hopgood, 25/04/2022 20:22

"I too noticed Rosberg's comments, nothing worse than a sore winner I guess.

Good points here about how Russell is coping better than Hamilton however this isn't unique to this driving pair.

Albon seems to have the legs on Latiffi and Sainz has admitted he isn't there yet with how to drive his car compared to his team mate.

Regarding Hamilton vs. Russell they are both struggling with the car which we still don't know how fast it could really be due to the bouncing on the straights.

Ted Kravits was very good at explaining long and wide side pods vs. short and narrow side pods and how the former supports the floor.

Perhaps Merc will need to revise their approach to the top aero of their car?

The trouble is, they can't necessarily do such a big change with the budge cap in place without affecting other areas of development."

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5. Posted by Rock Doc, 25/04/2022 13:53

"After a couple of years at Williams, Russell is obviously better able to handle a car with some 'quirks' to get the best out of it.

It seems Hamilton needs a near perfect car to get the best.
"

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6. Posted by kenji, 25/04/2022 9:40

"Maybe Russell is just a better driver especially in this car. He seems to be coping rather well...comparatively speaking."

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7. Posted by Wokingchap, 25/04/2022 9:33

"I just can't understand, like many others, why Lewis is not right there with George."

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