The era also witnesses Mercedes winning the Constructor’s Championship every year and Hamilton has been their main man for this. His outstanding performance has been evident on the calendar all these years.
The numbers at Melbourne every year have never been short of jaw-dropping. Hamilton has been the fastest all the time in qualifying every single year, the best among all being 1’20.486s. That is quite a consistent record to beat.
The Albert Park Track entered the championship calendar in 1996 and is 5.303kms long. Being a temporary facility that follows Albert Park Lake, it is known to be one of the fastest tracks as drivers have their throttle set to max 77% of the time. The maximum speed achieved is 321.1 kph.
Despite holding an excellent pole position record, Lewis Hamilton surprisingly won only one out of the six races in Melbourne. He managed to get a good start in 2015 which led him to win the race. But, certain incidents in the subsequent years saw him fall back from being number one.
In 2014, his F1 car suffered an engine failure and in 2016, a poor start prevented him from leading. In 2017, he was overcut by Ferrari and in 2018, a software error led him to give away the lead to Vettel under the Virtual Safety Car. 2019 saw Hamilton’s car suffer floor damage.
Now, after three years, F1 is back in Australia and the odds seem to be against Lewis Hamilton. The start of the season this year hasn’t been great for Mercedes and Hamilton. They’re simply not in the best form that they used to be during the pre-COVID era.
Hamilton recently confessed that he has been struggling mentally and emotionally. To make things worse, he said that Mercedes have got a lot of problems with their car. Ferrari and Red Bull on the other hand have adopted early measures to keep up with the latest regulatory changes in F1 and the result is evident.
As for Mercedes, they will have to do something soon. The problem occurs when the ground effect that holds the car to the ground stops working properly. As a result, the car bounces up and down.
To add to the existing woes, the missile attack by terrorists on an oil facility during the Friday practice at the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix might have dented the morale by quite a margin. While Hamilton picked up third place at the Bahrain Grand Prix, the race at Jeddah saw him finish tenth.
Melbourne’s track is now modified to cater to higher speeds. With four DRS zones, it is believed to shelve off five seconds from the lap times we’re used to seeing before.
Will Lewis Hamilton be able to hold his pole position record? Are there enough chances of him winning the 2022 Australian Grand Prix? Let us know in the comments.