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Featured Hamilton Struggles to Continue in Spain?

Discussion in 'Formula 1' started by Paul Jeffrey, May 9, 2017.

  1. Paul Jeffrey

    Paul Jeffrey
    RaceDepartment Editor-in-Chief Staff Premium

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    Lewis Hamilton Looking at Barcelona Fix.jpg
    Lewis Hamilton could be in for another torrid time at Barcelona as Mercedes boss Totto Wolff suggests the team are still hard at work looking into the recent struggles for #44.

    "Lewis had a difficult weekend in both qualifying and the race," Wolff admitted when speaking about the last event in Russia.

    "We have spent our time since then unpicking what happened, to understand why we couldn't get the car in the right window so he could feel comfortable with it"

    During the Russian Grand Prix Lewis Hamilton was surprisingly short on overall performance in comparison to his teammate and title rival Valtteri Bottas, never reaching the performances achieved by the unflappable Finn and generally looking off form throughout the weekend. Coming off the back of a less than ideal start to a campaign the three time World Champion is resounding favourite to win back his title won in 2008, 14 and 15, Hamilton has so far failed to display the magic he has become known for since his Grand Prix debut for McLaren in 2007.

    For his AMG Mercedes team's part the car has so far failed to live up to the high targets set on the back of three years of domination since the introduction of the latest hybrid Power Unit regulations brought in to Formula One ahead of the 2014 season. With a car looking considerably less stable over a single lap than has previously been the case, Mercedes boss Toto Wolff has been left to concede that plenty of work remains for the team back at Brackley before the outfit can be confident of returning to the very front of the current Formula One grid.

    In reference to the perceived lack of performance from Hamilton's side of the garage in Russia, Wolff admits a quick fix to resolve Hamilton's problems doesn't look likely ahead of the Spanish Grand Prix:

    "There are no magic bullets to understanding that, just a lot of hard work and attention to detail. We must give him the tools he needs to do the job in the next races and that will be a big focus for us."

    "The prevailing feeling is that there is lots of homework to do to come back stronger with a car that can perform on a consistent level every weekend," he said.​

    Needless to say the Mercedes team have become used to dominating the Formula One World Championship over these past three years, and work back at the team HQ in England continues with the same focus and dedication as ever before:

    "I have the feeling that we are moving in the right direction but we need 24/7 shifts to achieve our ultimate targets."

    "At the moment there are two top teams fighting for both championships and I expect Red Bull will also eventually join the club," Wolff said.​

    "The small margins we are seeing this season are demonstrated by the closeness at the top of the drivers' championship and even more so by the one-point advantage we have in the constructors'.

    Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 2017 F1.jpg

    Hamilton has been known for occasionally dropping into unexplained slumps in performance as the highly talented driver seemingly allows distractions to draw away his attention from the on track activity. With big rival and 2016 World Champion Nico Rosberg having departed the team at the close of the 2016 season, and with Hamilton having already shown signs last year that the often untouchable performances are perhaps not as regularly available as once was, has the British star taken his eye of the ball again at the beginning of this year, and can he recover quickly enough to put the fight to Ferrari and it's four time World Champion Sebastien Vettel?

    Jenson Button knows all about how to get behind the closed guard of 'Team Hamilton' and use the psychological advantage to his own ends, as shown by his highly impressive stints alongside the driver during the 2010, 11 and 12 seasons. The question remains however is if new teammate Bottas and main rivals Ferrari can look to unlock the advantage again in 2017 and make one of the most talented racing drivers of his era begin to doubt himself enough to unsettle his season and keep him on the back foot heading into main European portion of the calendar.

    With Rosberg no longer part of the driving strength for the first time since Hamilton joined Mercedes in 2013, perhaps the new dynamic between the two Mercedes drivers has allowed Hamilton an element of over confidence coming into the new year. Coupled with a suprising upturn in form for Ferrari and the expected return to form for Red Bull, Mercedes and Hamilton have quite the task on their hands if they want to end the season in the pound seats come Abu Dhabi:

    "This inter-team battle is a totally different situation than what we have seen over the last three years. You simply need to adapt to the challenge and that's what we are doing, playing the hunter as well as being the hunted" said Wolff.

    "This fight will continue on to the end of the season and we will be prepared for that battle."

    A Ferrari at the front of the field is always good news for Formula One and a break from the dominance of Hamilton and Mercedes over recent years could also do wonders for the appeal of a sport occasionally labelled as having lost its allure of seasons past, so perhaps a minor slump in form for Hamilton is just what the sport needs at this time to maintain interest from it's huge fan base around the world. The key question to ask is can Hamilton pick himself up in time to remain in the hunt, or at 32 are the best days of the driver already behind him and is this the first signs of an era of Hamilton master classes drawing to a close? Whichever way it turns out it's surely going to be spectacular to watch as the action unfolds....


    Check out the Formula One sub forum here at RaceDepartment for a place to sit back and relax whilst debating the pros and cons of the most popular racing series in Earth. Head over, leave a comment and get involved in the conversation today!

    Do you think Hamilton can find his form again in time to pick up the battle with a resurgent Ferrari team? Has new teammate Bottas got the driver rattled? Can Mercedes pick up development and reach the dominant form of recent years? Let us know in the comments section below!
     
    Last edited: May 9, 2017
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  2. Azure Flare

    Azure Flare
    Forever a backmarker Premium

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    After Mercedes has had a 3 year winning streak, It's fun to watch them struggle.
     
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  3. Tume

    Tume
    The unlucky Finn

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    Just because Hamilton was slow?

    Remember, in 2015 they were really slow in Singapore, but that was just once race. I'm sure they'll be in better shape from now on.

    Mercedes merely has a slower car (Bottas just held off Vettel for win), but I can see your point.
     
  4. Coffer

    Coffer

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    lol

    The straights alone on the vast majority of tracks are enough to crush Ferrari. Hamilton and Bottas are just not performing at the same level as Vettel right now.
     
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  5. LeSunTzu

    LeSunTzu
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    Hamilton's definition of struggling: 4 races, 1 win, 3 podiums, 2 poles.
    I wish I could "struggle" that way in my league championships^^
     
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  6. eljueta

    eljueta

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    True. The struggle is not real in this case :p

    Seriously though I think it's more a case of Ferrari getting their s*** together this year than Mercedes underperforming. Which is great to watch.
     
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  7. Andrew Scott

    Andrew Scott
    "Ye Old Convict" Premium

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    Agreed, be nice when RB slot in to the mix too, the sooner the better:thumbsup:
     
  8. Andrew Harper

    Andrew Harper
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    Yes I think it's a bit too early to say Lewis is in real trouble for this year, Russia was never a favourite track of his anyway.

    Ferrari have just closed the gap over the winter, and they are making Mercedes work for the wins again.

    Mercedes have had such dominance that they are having to rethink things like strategy again. They can't relax as much as before, otherwise Ferrari will beat them either on pace or in the pits.

    It will be interesting to see the gap to RB in Spain but at the moment Ferrari and Mercedes are just in a different category on race pace.
     
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  9. Mark Greenall

    Mark Greenall

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    I'm gonna laugh my head off this weekend and every other weekend after Mercedes lose 5 kilos of weight. That alone is 3 tenths and then the update.
     
  10. whip

    whip

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    one 4th place and the press do their usual
     
  11. Rodent

    Rodent
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    All this Red Bull talk, I would much rather see Williams back up there fighting for podiums, Massa and Bottas going head to head would be glorious.

    But so far I'm just happy to see Ferrari's speed wasn't a once or twice a season kind of deal.
     
  12. Erwin Greven

    Erwin Greven
    retired from this site. Premium

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    Williams isn't a championship contender in most of the last 20 years.
    1997 was their last year. After that a few victories: 11.
     
  13. Jim Layee

    Jim Layee

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    Too much time with his best mate Charlie
     
  14. chargingcar

    chargingcar
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    Such a sad life ,
    If you are not getting 4 poles , 4 Race wins and dominating every session ,
    Your deemed to be useless and you have serious issues ,

    Its a life of a racing driver get over it :D:D:D:D
     
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  15. Knoxstar

    Knoxstar

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    If Hamilton is struggling he has only himself to blame as he said before that he disagrees with the concept of team drivers sharing set-up information. Also, what happened to all those that thought Bottas should be designated the #2 driver after the 3rd race? I'm talking Sky Sports, other media and some on the RD threads.
     
  16. chargingcar

    chargingcar
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    Both points are valid ,
    If I was a driver I wouldnt want my setups or anything shared ,
    But if I was a team owner or manager I would want every single point available ,
    So this concept is a good idea to make sure both cars have strong race pace :D
     
  17. Rodent

    Rodent
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    Well sure, though seeing as neither Williams or RB are up there fighting for first at the moment all I'm saying is if we're wishing for things that aren't happening, my wish is for Williams to return to form. ;)
     
  18. Leonardo Chaves

    Leonardo Chaves

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    I don't see any reason for that, he got it wrong in Russia, but otherwise he has been sharp Russia looked like an off day/weekend to me.
    If he had been underperforming for a while that would be different.

    With that said i kinda think Barcelona will favor Ferrari

    They contended in 2003, but overall i agree.
     
  19. zoranzoki

    zoranzoki

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    Before saying I am crazy - I know this is out of the blue but I see him out of the team for next season. Bottas No. 1. driver (I think he will be next champ for years to come) and maybe Verstappen (oh boy, I would like to see him in a Mercedes car) No. 2. driver, maybe even Ricardo. Maybe this is the end of his winning streaks and maybe we start seeing him in other non contested teams (like Alonso, another great champ) like Force India or Williams, where Massa will retire any day now, or worse - Honda. No Ferrari because Vettel have 1st driver option in contract I think and I just don't see him in Red Bull but money always change things.
     
  20. Ari Antero

    Ari Antero

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    I don't know if some of you did listen radio communication from Mercedes team in Russia. Hamilton was crying all the time how bad car was and team could not do anything to satisfy him. When Bottas was asked if he likes to pit and make changes to hes car he did reply: Car is what it is I stay out few more laps and try something else and result was pole position and victory of Rusian GP.
    What is something else? According Sir Frank Williams is Bottas the most talented driver he has never seen and it wont surprise me at all if Valtteri Bottas is going to bee the world champion of 2017.
     
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