Luck finally turned around for Lewis Hamilton and Mercedes, as they excelled during their best performance at the Spanish Grand Prix on Sunday. The seven-time world champ has been going through a rough patch since he lost the championship to Max Verstappen in 2021. The Silver Arrows have not won a single race this season. However, Hamilton\’s performance in Barcelona has brought the belief back in the Mercedes pits. The Mercedes driver suffered an early setback during the race as he made contact with Kevin Magnussen and punctured his tyre. After taking a pit stop, Hamilton found himself 50 seconds behind the leader Leclerc and 38 seconds behind the car in front.
Hamilton refused to give up and finished P5 after falling behind to the 19th position in the second lap. The magnificent display of skills and temperament from Lewis has made Toto Wolff believe that the Silver Arrows finally have the car they need to battle with Red Bull and Ferrari across the grid in hopes of bagging another title this year. However, as unrealistic as it sounds right now, things can change around quickly in F1. While Leclerc led the race on Sunday, he was forced to retire due to a power unit issue. This allowed Verstappen to get ahead of him in the drivers\’ standings in a matter of a race. The Dutchman won the race in Barcelona and took a six-point lead over Leclerc, with Red Bull getting on top of the constructors\’ rankings.
Behind Red Bull, it was the complete performance Mercedes have had so far all year. George Rusell fought off with the Red Bulls as he found himself leading at one time in the race. However, the W13 still lacked the outright pace to compete with a superior, Red Bull. Meanwhile, Hamilton charged past the field with his W13\’s incredible pace to fifth. The Briton told after the race that his car\’s pace was capable of challenging the front-running Red Bulls if he did not fall back after making contact initially.
Team Principal Claims Mercedes Can Fight For Another Championship In 2022
When asked if Mercedes could win another championship this year, Toto Wolff replied, \”Well we bet we can.\” The Mercedes boss shared that the team needs to have a car capable of finishing first and second. He feels that the Silver Arrows have a reason to believe that they can get there. Talking about the massive odds against them, Toto mentioned Leclerc\’s retirement in Barcelona and said that motor racing is a different ball game. This is because things can turn around at any moment. Moreover, the former racing driver added, \”So we are absolutely pushing flat out to bring us back in the game.\”
Further, Wolff told that the car\’s performance on Sunday reminded him of the championship-winning cars from previous seasons. He pointed out that Hamilton was 30+ seconds behind the whole field. And he came all the way to the front, inching closer to the podium before an engine overheating issue slowed him down. The team principal said that Hamilton\’s performance was encouraging, and it depicts Mercedes\’ progress in the season.
Could Mercedes & Hamilton Turn The Season Around After Spain
Mercedes are 75 points behind the constructors\’ standings leader Red Bull. However, their performance in Spain was completely opposite of the disappointment they have faced this season. In Saudi Arabia, Hamilton qualified 16th and could only manage to finish tenth. The Briton started 14th in Imola, and he could not do better than a 13th-place finish. But, Barcelona changed things around for Mercedes and Hamiton. He overtook Esteban Ocon, Valtteri Bottas, and Carlos Sainz to make it to the fourth. However, Lewis had to step off the gas a little due to a water leak. This resulted in Sainz finishing fourth ahead of the Mercedes driver.
Hamilton\’s performance made Wolff believe that the Briton was still very much in the race. Toto said that coming back from 38 seconds behind in the 19th position, getting to the front, posting two fastest laps in a row, and ending P5 showed Hamilton\’s quality and his determination. Meanwhile, Wolff was pleased with Russell\’s performance, who stepped up for Mercedes and defended well against Verstappen. The Mercedes boss shared that George\’s driving is unbelievable in terms of defending and positioning. Moreover, Toto added, \”I am so proud and happy to see that, A great driver in the making.\”