Motorsport

Hamilton shrugs off early season woes

2018-04-27 21:02
Lewis Hamilton (Getty Images)

Baku - Lewis Hamilton seemed to be the man least concerned by his own decline on Friday after another unexceptional performance saw him finish fifth in practice for this weekend's Azerbaijan Grand Prix.

In the process, the four-time world champion was outpaced by both Red Bull drivers, one of the Ferraris and his own Mercedes team-mate Valtteri Bottas.

Yet, Hamilton was unfazed by it all and rejected the statistics that point to a slump in results.

Hamilton has failed to win in three races this year and six in all since he triumphed last October at the United States Grand Prix.

Many observers, including one of the most seasoned of all, Bernie Ecclestone, believe the 33-year-old Briton has mislaid, if not lost, his mojo.

In this year's championship, he is nine points adrift of German four-time champion Sebastian Vettel of Ferrari. Curiously, he also struggled to 10th and 11th in Friday's practice sessions.

If Hamilton fails to triumph on Sunday, he will extend his winless run this year to four races - a season-opening streak that has not been overcome and turned into a championship winning season in three decades.

Not since 1989, when Alain Prost succeeded in beating his McLaren team-mate Ayrton Senna to the title in controversial circumstances, has anyone turned such a poor start into a title triumph.

"I don't think about statistics and I am always one for wanting to defy the odds," said Hamilton.

"If we don't win this weekend, I plan on changing that statistic.

"Do I feel the need for the win? I am enjoying the battle and the whole experience, and that is what motorsport is all about. Finishing first is obviously a great feeling, but it always feels better when you have come from further back.

"When it feels like you have had a harder slog to get that victory, the win always feels better so when it does arrive, it is going to be great."

Former commercial rights supremo Ecclestone, however, begs to differ and said he feels that Hamilton may no longer have the required edge to his racing.

"He doesn't seem to be the Lewis that he was before," he told reporters on Friday.

"I don't know whether it's me, but when you talk to him and see him act the way he acts generally, he's not the racer he was.

"He's still very quick, still super talented, still a super nice guy, but maybe he's just getting a little bit tired of travelling and he's fed up with things."

Read more on:    lewis hamilton  |  f1
NEXT ON SPORT24X

What To Read Next

 

Read News24’s Comments Policy

Live Video Streaming
Video Highlights
Sport Talk

 
 
Men
Women
Love 2 Meet
English Premiership flutter

Take Sport24's "expert" tips at your peril...

Featured

The 2018/19 Absa Premiership season is in full swing. Will Mamelodi Sundowns retain their title? Or can one of Kaizer Chiefs, Orlando Pirates, Wits, SuperSport United - or another team perhaps - snatch glory from the Brazilians? Be sure to visit Sport24 for all the latest news!

Latest blogs
Vote

Hypothetically, given the same cars to drive, who is the most talented current Formula One driver in your opinion?

Twitter Follow Sport24 on Twitter

Facebook "Like" Sport24's Facebook page

WIN Enter and win with Sport24!

BlackBerry Stay in the loop on your BlackBerry

RSS Feeds Sport news delivered really simply.

 
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.