Hamilton’s crisis continues: only 9th place in Mercedes / Formula 1

Hamilton’s crisis continues: only 9th place in Mercedes / Formula 1

Only ten points from four races, far from a podium finish: Mercedes star Lewis Hamilton’s worst start to an 18-year-old season went unnoticed in Japan either.

The bug remains in Mercedes. The eight-time Constructors’ Cup winners wanted to approach Red Bull Racing in 2024 and, of course, lure Max Verstappen and Sergio Pérez. Even close!

After four races this season it looks like this: two victories for RBR (Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, Japan), together with Ferrari (Australia), Mercedes cannot show a single podium position, the best race result – 5th place for George Russell the opening game of the World Cup in Bahrain.

Russell’s provisional results are respectable, considering the difficulty of the car to set up: fifth in Bahrain, sixth in Jeddah, then the open circuit in Australia (crash behind Fernando Alonso) and now seventh in Japan.

Lewis Hamilton, on the other hand, had a bad first part of the World Cup in 18 years of the first division: the seven-time world champion finished 7th (Bahrain) and 9th (Saudi Arabia) in the Middle East, followed by engine failure in Melbourne, now a poor ninth in Suzuka. This means that Hamilton has just ten points after four races and is 9th in the provisional standings (Russell is currently seventh in the World Championship).

And once the bug gets in, it doesn’t come out very quickly. Hamilton’s Japan weekend was also ruined. This time in the form of a damaged car.

Lewis Hamilton says: “I had car damage after the car collided with Charles Leclerc’s Ferrari shortly after the start when it overtook me on the outside. After that, my car slowed down a lot in the first part of the race. The car drove very hesitantly. That was also the reason why I let Russell go.”

During the race, Hamilton questioned on the radio whether he was following the correct strategy. After a red flag shortly after the first start (Ricciardo’s collision with Albon), Mercedes decided that Russell and Hamilton would receive different tires than originally planned. The exchange of such reels is allowed by the rules in that case.

Hamilton looks disappointed as he says: “I don’t think we could have got much more out of the Grand Prix if we had done it differently. We would have to use a hard tire at times, and it didn’t work well for us. Things went better with the middle mix.

“In hindsight, we would have relied more on the moderate Pirelli this weekend. But even so, the car was bad today.”

Ultimately, nothing has changed for Mercedes-Benz: it goes back and forth from being happy to being depressed to dying in one weekend.

On Friday, 103-time GP winner Lewis Hamilton spoke about having his best training session of the year. This great feeling with the Mercedes W15 was never seen again at the Grand Prix.

Japan-GP, Suzuka Circuit

01. Max Verstappen (NL), Red Bull Racing, 1:54:23,566 h
02. Sergio Pérez (MEX), Red Bull Racing, +12.535 seconds
03. Carlos Sainz (E), Ferrari, +20,866
04. Charles Leclerc (MC), Ferrari, +26,522
05. Lando Norris (GB), McLaren, +29.700
06. Fernando Alonso (E), Aston Martin, +44,272
07. George Russell (GB), Mercedes, +45,951
08. Oscar Piastri (AUS), McLaren, +47.525
09. Lewis Hamilton (GB), Mercedes, +48,626
10. Yuki Tsunoda (J), Racing Bulls, +1 Round
11. Nico Hülkenberg (D), Haas, +1 lap
12. Lance Stroll (CDN), Aston Martin, +1 Round
13. Kevin Magnussen (DK), Haas, +1 Lap
14. Valtteri Bottas (FIN), clean, +1 lap
15. Esteban Ocon (F), Alpine, +1 Round
16. Pierre Gasly (F), Alpine, +1 Round
17. Logan Sargeant (USA), Williams, +1 Round
Guanyu Zhou (RCH), Sauber, Elektrik
Alex Albon (T), Williams, Crash
Daniel Ricciardo (AUS), Racing Bull, Crash

World Championship Standings (after 4 out of 24 Grands Prix)

the driver
01. Verstappen 77 points
02. Perez 64
03. Leclerc 59
04. Sainz 55
05. Norris 37
06. Plate 32
07. Russell 24
08. Alonso 24
09. Hamilton 10
10. Walk 7
11. Tsunoda 7
12. Oliver Bearman (GB) 6
13. Hulkenberg 3
14. Magnussen 1
15. Alboni 0
16. Zhou 0
17. Ricciardo 0
18. Okon 0
19. 0 gas
20. Bota 0
21. Sergeant 0

Builders Cup
01. Red Bull Racing 141 Punkte
02. Ferrari 120
03. McLaren 69
04. Mercedes 34
05. Aston Martin 33
06. Running Bull 7
07. Especially 4
08. Williams 0
09. Sauber 0
10. Alpine 0