Formula 1 | Hamilton sees similarities between his 2009 and 2022 Formula 1 seasons

Since making his Formula 1 debut in 2007, Lewis Hamilton has consistently won at least one Grand Prix a season, even when he wasn’t fighting for the championship. It therefore has 10 races left to try to continue this streak in 2022 but, as we saw in France this weekend, it will be difficult for Mercedes F1 to regularly overtake Red Bull and Ferrari this year.

The last time Hamilton found himself in a similar situation was in 2009, a year also marked by significant rule changes. Defending champion, the Briton saw his McLaren F1 team lose their MP4-24 on the wides and suffered many disappointments at the start of the season, sometimes being eliminated in Q1.

It wasn’t until mid-season, and thanks to a major development from McLaren, that Hamilton finally had a car capable of winning. He won in Hungary, where F1 is going this weekend (well, well…), then in Singapore a few weeks later.

“I remember very well 2009 and many elements of that year”, said Lewis Hamilton.

“I think in January or February, after I came back from my winter training, we had this meeting and the guys were telling me that we had already reached the level of downforce that we wanted with the new car. And I remember them saying that according to their interpretations, there was 50% less support compared to the previous year.

“I was like, ‘Really?’ This means you probably didn’t set the car high enough, and when I got in it in Portimão it was absolutely horrible to drive, it’s the worst car I’ve ever driven, only the engine was good, but for the rest I was . permanently on three wheels.”

“So I remember the difficulties that year. We had qualified 15th or something in the first race, before a major development came for the Nürburgring. I was the only driver in the team who had it because I was the best qualified of the championship. , and in turns 6 and 7, I was finally able to go all out. And I remember by accident I turned on the radio and I said that “uuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuu in” which “then they broadcast to the whole factory and then we won our first race in Budapest. “

After Budapest in 2009, can history repeat itself in 2022?

The seven-time world champion thinks so: there are similarities between the 2009 and 2022 seasons as far as he is concerned. The wink of history would also be interesting if he wins in Hungary this weekend, and Hamilton wants to believe in his chances of that happening.

“This year, at the start of the season, it was very, very similar – in February we were very confident and convinced that we had a lot of performance in the car, but of course it started to recover and let us down. . took a long time to fix this problem, we had to sacrifice performance for it.”

“But I would say the whole experience is … it’s impressive to see a group of people never give up, everything you see in these teams. I think we haven’t made the big jump before like we did in 2009 .to win in Budapest, but who knows?

“We’re not going to give up, we’re going to keep giving it our all. It’s going to be hot there. Maybe our car will do well there, maybe we’ll be closer to these guys. I hope so in all cases, because I love this circuit. .”

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