“It was like a ghost was in the car,” Lewis Hamilton describes his woes with the 2022 Mercedes racecar after ending a winless season
Lewis Hamilton entered Formula 1 in 2007, and in 2008, the Briton got his first Championship title with McLaren. Fast forward to 2020, Hamilton had successfully maintained his dominion in F1 by leaving all his rivals behind and going for an easy seventh WDC win. Lewis’ resounding victory in that season equalled him to the German motorsports legend Michael Schumacher, who has also received seven F1 titles during his career in the sport. But now, Lewis’ career seems to be in uncertain waters as the 37-year-old recently had his first ever winless season in F1 with zero Grand Prix victories in 2022.
At the very start of the 2022 F1 season, Lewis Hamilton discovered some big problems with the Mercedes W13. After eight years of compete domination in the charts, the German team seemed to have failed to manufacture a Championship-worthy car as the FIA brought in some major changes in the rules to be followed in the sport. The W13 lacked race pace when compared to Red Bull’s RB-18 and Ferrari’s F1-75. And then came the problem of porpoising which seemed to plague both the Silver Arrows throughout the campaign.
Thanks to George Russell’s brilliant racing skills which were put on display at the Sao Paulo Grand Prix in Brazil, Mercedes got their only win of the season but things were even worse for Lewis Hamilton. The Briton, who had stepped into the 2022 Formula 1 season in hopes of an eighth World title, had to walk away without a single Grand Prix win. And thus, Lewis said he felt like there was a “ghost” in his Mercedes racecar in the recently-concluded campaign, and it was as if “it kept coming back”.
Lewis Hamilton does not have any praise for the W13, Mercedes’ 2022 racecar
Mercedes’ results in the initial part of 2022 were absolutely abysmal as both their drivers got surpassed by Alfa Romeo’s Valtteri Bottas during the season’s first race in Bahrain. But over the race weekends, the German team managed to better themselves and they did come back into their winning form during the last few races of the year, but it was too late.
Speaking of the W13’s performance in 2022, Lewis Hamilton said, “The first big step was Barcelona, that was our first hint of there being more potential in the car. It turned out to be a bit of a false positive; the car was good there but then the races afterwards were difficult. It was like a ghost was in the car and it kept coming back. It’s been a very hard year for everyone. For me, it’s been challenging in ways that I wasn’t expecting.”
After an upsetting finish in 2022, the upcoming season will be Mercedes’ chance for redemption. Their Team Principal Toto Wolff has already claimed that they will take the lessons they learnt throughout the recently-concluded season and make sure their 2023 car has better race pace, performance, and power. And Lewis Hamilton has also shown no signs of slowing down as the Briton will be back next year with a new zeal, targeting his eighth record-breaking World Championship title.