The Briton has been the measure of all things in recent years, has won seven drivers' world championship titles since 2014, and was only beaten in 2016 by his then-teammate Nico Rosberg. And in the dramatic 2021 season finale by Red Bull star Max Verstappen.
In the current season, however, Hamilton is threatened with a historic debacle. Since his Formula 1 debut in 2007, the Brit has clinched at least one race win and one pole position in every season. Currently, there is still a zero in both categories.
It is doubtful whether this statistic will change in the remaining five races of the season. Hamilton's "Silver Arrow", the dominant car since the new 2014 engine regulations, is no longer capable of winning. Hamilton will start the Japanese Grand Prix in sixth place on Sunday.
“There has never been a driver like me”.
Nevertheless, the now 37-year-old Brit has not given up hope. “I’m close to both goals. You have to believe in it until you no longer have a chance,” said Hamilton, who has had 103 race wins and 103 pole positions in his career, at "Blick".
Another Hamilton victory would certainly mean another record. Because the Brit has already completed 303 Grands Prix. A driver who has completed more than 300 races has never won a race. For Hamilton, however, this statistic means nothing, as the 37-year-old confidently emphasized: “There has never been a driver like me”.
Hamilton already noticed during the first round of testing that Mercedes would have a hard time this season. “If you drive races for so long, you have a window in front of you every time you drive a new car that immediately smiles at you with confidence.
Or maybe not. I immediately thought of the upper budget limit and the brakes on development,” said the seven-time world champion his impressions of the Barcelona tests. Already in 2009 Hamilton had a similar feeling during the test drives, the Brit recalled.
“Reality suppresses all frustration,” said the Mercedes star.
Hamilton has become "a better team player".
On the other hand, frustration still prevails when Hamilton remembers the lost 2021 World Cup. Verstappen only overtook the seven-time champion on the very last lap after a controversial safety car decision.
The 37-year-old said he had overcome the disappointment “not 100 percent”.“But you always have to look ahead in life”. In any case, he was not mad at the Dutchman himself. “He did everything he had to do on the track, so why should I have a problem with him?” Hamilton asked.
But such a bankruptcy also allowed him to grow. “In my career I’ve suffered more defeats than victories. I’ve also made more mistakes than achieved pole positions. In the end there is only one winner,” said the Brit quite self-critically, now he is a “better team player than before. It shows how you can still grow at any age,” the Brit concluded.