The only dream that inspires Lewis Hamilton to come back on the grid for years is the eighth (cursed) title. And this year, in 2023, this one dream appears to get slipped away. Hamilton fears not accepting the fact that Mercedes is “going backward” after Aston Martin’s strong comeback.
In the season’s opening race, Bahrain Grand Prix with Mercedes W14, Lewis Hamilton could only achieve a P5. Isn’t it the same Mercedes car with which the drivers dreamt of having a strong comeback in 2023 after a rollercoaster 2022 season? But why is it not performing as expected? Why is the black livery Mercedes’ latest creation way behind Aston Martin’s AMR23? Looks like this bubble of Mercedes is finally getting burst by Hamilton.
Last day at Sakhir, Hamilton’s rivalry with Fernando Alonso was once again re-ignited. Lewis was the one supposed to fight with Verstappen for the win. But instead, Fernando took the place third, reminding everyone of his early career era.
During the qualifying of the Bahrain grand Prix, Mercedes W14 was paced off when he secured P7. The next day, it got a little better, and the seven-time world champion remained the 50s away from the reigning champion, Max Verstappen. Having a wheel-to-wheel battle with Alonso and yet remaining two positions behind him at the finish, Hamilton claimed that the car was not fast enough.
“A Lot Of Work To Do To Fill the Gap” Lewis Hamilton Knows Mercedes W14 Is Not Worth The Title
It was not like the Briton hated racing with the W14. He still loved the racing, as he said. Having a great start, struck with Fernando’s AMR23 at turn 4, made Lewis believes this was “one of the better opening laps.” But was it? No! Not at all. Just after that “great” opening lap, Hamilton was sliding around. The car went so understeering, which took the wing out of W14. He was failing to get around some of the corners. That’s how the Briton was unable to keep up battling with the drivers ahead of him.
Lewis Hamilton explained that the middle stint he made was perhaps good. In the end, he was almost the nearest to Carlos Sainz, fighting for the fourth position. But no matter how much he did push the Mercedes AMG W14, it was not good enough. Only if Hamilton had been no realistic, he would have said that we could fight Ferrari and Red Bul. But now that he is being realistic and a bit pessimist, he said, “Mercedes definitely can’t fight at the moment.” He also admitted that Carlos Sainz and Charles Leclerc with the SF23 was way quicker than W14, and not only them but also the Astons were flying.
“Mercedes is the fourth team now,” said Lewis Hamilton. Going opposite to what was expected, Mercedes is gradually becoming a backward team on the grid. “A lot of work to do” is left to fill the gaps. But it all depends on the question; Will Mercedes be able to do it?