F1 News: Mika Hakkinen Believes Lewis Hamilton Could Be Moving Away From Mercedes
Mika Hakkinen – the two-time world champion has been quite speculative of the scenario brewing inside Lewis Hamilton. Lately, he has commented about Hamilton’s challenges since the beginning of this season and how they must be shaping out for him.
As of today, the seven-time world champion sits in fifth place in the drivers’ standings at 28 points, which is 43 points behind the leader of the board – Charles Leclerc.
Not only that, Hamilton sits behind his 24-year-old teammate George Russell who has earned 37 points. Do bear in mind that this is Russell’s first season with Mercedes.
This is the first time since 2013 that Hamilton has not had a second-place finish in the opening three races. Obviously, Hamilton has not had a good start. But, there could be two aspects to this problem.
The first one is the violent porpoising problem in the W13 Mercedes car that causes the front to bounce quite badly at high speeds, thus preventing the driver from pushing further. Unfortunately, Mercedes Boss Toto isn’t confident of when the team would arrest this problem.
Secondly, Lewis Hamilton admitted a few weeks ago that he has been going through his own share of mental and emotional tremors. He said, “it is a constant struggle to keep going.” Consequently, one can definitely not expect a racer to be in full form.
The series of events have taken Hamilton’s quest for a record-breaking eighth world championship much farther than expected. Hakkinen feels that in the times to come, Hamilton must be prepared for a “really difficult” campaign.
“It’s a tough spot for Lewis, it’s obvious,” said Hakkinen to Unibet.
“The last race in Australia was a tough spot for Lewis — really tough. But I’m sure Lewis is still annoyed by the situation. It’s hard to be beaten by George.”
“They got a good result — not the result they hoped for, but still good points for the team. I’m afraid this will be a really difficult season for Lewis. It’s already difficult for Mercedes but especially for Lewis.”
Earlier, Hamilton was able to vent out frustrations over the radio. But now, he can’t shift strategy owing to the car’s existing aerodynamic limitations and with his junior teammate doing much better, Hakkinen feels that things won’t pass smoothly ‘behind the scenes’ for Mercedes.
Hakkinen said: “George comes from a team with little or no success. He had some good results in qualifying but not in races. All these achievements with Mercedes are new to him. Everything feels super good. For Lewis, this is a disaster. And with George being ahead, it’s even worse.”
“I wonder how Lewis behaves in the team meetings — I bet he’s sulking. I can imagine the sulking. There’s lots of complaining and whining.”
Hakkinen then goes on to talk about the kind of thoughts that naturally pop in a driver’s mind with such a scenario being played out.
“And now starts the natural thought process of drivers: ‘Should I go somewhere else?’
“It’s a fact. He’s been at Mercedes for years and won multiple championships. Now that things are not going well, he’ll start thinking of switching teams.”
While Hakkinen is entitled to his opinions, we think it might be a little too early to jump to conclusions as the season has witnessed just three races.
Sometimes, the best remedy to complicated situations is to give it more time. The rest falls into place.
But, given Hakkinen’s experience, you never know if his predictions come true. Fingers crossed!