A “nightmarish” Grand Prix in Imola and a World Championship “already lost” just four races from the start of the 2022 Championship, the finger against an “unrideable” Mercedes and “unworthy” of a seven-time world champion.
In the Grand Prix of Made in Italy and Emilia Romagna, Hamilton crossed the finish line in 13th position, lapped without appeal by former title rival Max Verstappen and unable for the entire race to overtake the AlfaTauri of Pierre Gasly, slower than the English W13 but fast enough to prevent the # 44 from finding the right gap for overtaking. To make the defeat of the British Mercedes driver even more frustrating is the good performance of his young teammate George Russell, fourth with the other silver arrow.
In the most difficult moment for the seven-time world champion since the beginning of the hybrid era and despite the fact that some strong differences with Toto Wolff have already begun, the entire Mercedes team and the German team principal have gathered around Hamilton, apologizing for the car with which the now former black king is forced to race this year, the era of the technical turning point in Formula 1 that has obviously changed the balance in the Circus: “Lewis, hello. Sorry”- said Wolff in the first team radio just after the Imola race – for what you had to drive today. I know this car was undrivable and this is not what we deserve to get as a result. We will start again, but this was a terrible race. We’re going to get out of this.”
A debacle that certified Mercedes’ inability to fight for the title for which Ferrari and Red Bull with Leclerc and Verstappen seem the only ones who can compete for now. “I will certainly continue to work, even if I am very disappointed – Hamilton said – I will try, I will try to put the pieces back together. Nightmare is the right word, absolutely for this weekend. The only good thing is that we finished the race, otherwise it’s all down the drain. I’m out of the championship and there’s no doubt about that. It was a weekend to forget for sure. At least George got some points, so I apologize to everyone for not being able to do the same. I’m sure – Hamilton concludes, already thinking about the next race in Miami – that this week I will have a positive mood. Today I will be in the factory to see what we can improve”.
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