Can Lewis Hamilton stage a 2024 comeback? This is the question on every Formula 1 enthusiast’s mind as we approach the new season. After a period of unexpected setbacks and a noticeable absence from the top step of the podium, Hamilton’s potential resurgence is not just a matter of personal redemption but a pivotal moment for the sport itself.
Formula 1 journalist Lawrence Barretto casts a discerning eye over Lewis Hamilton, the seven-time world champion who hasn’t secured a single Grand Prix victory in the past two seasons. Barretto reflects on Hamilton’s disheartened demeanor throughout the 2023 season as the British racer realized his diminishing chances of victory with each race.
“During the 2023 Formula 1 season, Hamilton seemed disconsolate. The seven-time world champion knew his chances of victory were slim in each race he entered,” Barretto noted to Formula1.com. Despite the disappointments, Hamilton took a realistic approach to his underwhelming performance. Barretto highlights, “He never lashed out or blamed his team. You could just see he was saddened by the reality: his Mercedes wasn’t fast enough, and while he knew they were doing everything to enhance performance, the improvements wouldn’t significantly materialize by the year’s end.”
Struggles Since 2022
For Hamilton, who had won at least one race every year since his debut in 2007, 2022 and 2023 posed an unprecedented challenge. Barretto illustrates: “It was all the more frustrating because he knew from the moment he drove the car in Bahrain’s tests that Mercedes had erred in pursuing a divergent philosophy.”
Barretto underscores the difficulties Mercedes faced: “With the budget cap, a rapid recovery wasn’t possible, given the extensive changes required.” Despite the setbacks, Hamilton maintained a consistently high level of performance. “He finished the year in third place, and while that was his lowest points total since 2013, he had more highlights,” the Formula 1 journalist recounts.
Can Lewis Hamilton make a comeback in 2024?
Barretto references Hamilton’s resilience. “If anything, two seasons without a victory – and a streak of 45 races without one – serve as a catalyst for him to work even harder physically, mentally, and in collaboration with his team to find a way back to the top,” says the journalist.
Looking ahead to the 2024 season, Barretto concludes: “We should get a sense of whether Hamilton can make a comeback and take on the battle with Red Bull Racing and Max Verstappen after that first day in the desert on February 21st. Give him a car to fight at the front, and you can trust he will make the most of it.”
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