Lewis Hamilton’s resurgence, coupled with Ferrari’s apparent incompetence, should strike fear into the Prancing Horse for the rest of the 2022 Formula 1 season.
It wasn’t too long ago when we were talking about Mercedes newcomer George Russell beating teammate Lewis Hamilton in seven consecutive races, something that had only happened once to the seven-time world champion throughout the first 15 seasons of his Formula 1 career.
Since then, Hamilton has finished on the podium in five consecutive races, and he has not been beaten by Russell during this span.
Hamilton still sits in sixth place in the driver standings behind Russell, the two Red Bull drivers, and the two Ferrari drivers, which is where he has found himself throughout much of the 2022 season.
But his recent resurgence, coupled with Ferrari’s reliability issues, strategy issues, and driver consistency issues, should strike fear into the Italian outfit as the summer break gets underway.
Hamilton finds himself just 32 points behind Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc for second place in the driver standings. That deficit is less than half of what it was six races ago.
And his resurgence goes well beyond these last six races as well.
Reigning world champion Max Verstappen has had his Red Bull dialed in for much of the season, winning eight of the first 13 races and taking a commanding lead over Leclerc in the driver standings, despite the fact that Ferrari may very well still have the quicker car.
With nine races left on the calendar, Verstappen leads Leclerc by 80 points. To put this in perspective, a race win pays 25 points.
We’re not going to overexaggerate and imply that Hamilton is on his way to catching Verstappen. After all, both of his season-best runner-up finishes came behind his former title rival, so he technically lost ground in those efforts.
But it’s no exaggeration to suggest that with the way things are trending, we could very well be looking at the same 1-2 finish in the standings as last year, despite a much, much different looking season.
Here’s the stat that should strike fear into the hearts of Ferrari fans everywhere.
If you take the following eight spans — the most recent race, the last two races, the last three races, the last four races, the last five races, the last six races, the last seven races, and the last eight races — Hamilton ranks second in points behind Verstappen in every single one.
It may seem like yesterday that the talk was about Hamilton being “washed up” following dismal performances, specifically relative to his teammate, in Jeddah and Imola.
But the performances we are seeing now from Lewis Hamilton were a long time coming following a lackluster start to a season of new regulations. He appears to be finding his groove again, and the W13 is proving not to be as big of a disaster as it looked a few months ago.