Why We Need To Practice Patience With Lewis Hamilton In 2022?

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Questions, there are many, but perhaps not all have answers or, truth be told, answers that possess a fair amount of certainty about them. These are questions like:

When will Lewis Hamilton bounce back to form? When will we see him clinch another podium? Can he get to stand on the top step of the podium for, at least, once in this season if nothing else goes his way?

None of these questions have any readily available answers but all point to a common direction or else, have an underlying truth.

Patience!

One needs to hold on for obviously there is very little one can do anyway.

Yet, all that is happening to Lewis Hamilton, it could be said, points to a basic realisation about life.

It truly explains human nature. When things are going our way, everything seems perfect. Just the way it should be. But in the event of experiencing anything untoward however slight it may be, it seems the entire world has turned upside down.

And right now the world of Lewis Hamilton and that of his doting fans, those who’ve stuck by him all these years, has turned upside down.

There’s a car, the W13 that he is not getting used to. Rather, the car is not getting used to the driving style of the seven time world champion driver, a legend of the grid. Pardon the fanboy speak, but it’s a seven time world champion of the sport we are talking about, so there’s got to be some harmless bias somewhere.

There’s the issue of porpoising, the phenomenon where the F1 car bounces vigorously, particularly on the straights, which is an aerodynamic function that is causing Lewis Hamilton much stress. His race performance is being hampered by it.

Moreover, there’s a teammate who, despite being utterly inexperienced where it comes to the Mercedes car, is performing much better than Lewis Hamilton; Russell’s already scored 49 points in comparison to Lewis Hamilton’s 28.

To give an idea of how low Lewis would be feeling at this time, perhaps it helps to note that while George Russell is driving in his maiden season for the world beating Mercedes Formula 1 team, Hamilton’s currently driving in his ninth season in this new turbo-hybrid era of F1.

But all of that said, the worst feeling above anything so far is that the man himself has said that “we (he and his team) are not in the 2022 Championship for the world title fight.”

Prior to him landing in the brand new world championship, few others had experiencing such polarising emotions as Lewis Hamilton himself, the man who emerged second-best at the conclusion of 2021 world title fight, wherein he was bettered only by Max Verstappen- no one else.

At Abu Dhabi, the conclusion of 2021, he was gutted. Heartbroken. Speechless even. We know what happened there. Yet, somehow he found the courage, chivalrous that he is to walk upto the man who had stopped his stellar run at the top albeit amid utterly controversial circumstances.

After a few weeks of disappearing from social media, in came a Tweet, “We are going to give it absolutely everything in the new season.”

To most of us, it was like a warcry signaling that the man so relentless (even to his own self) in the pursuit for excellence would give his bloody best to bounce back and attempt to claim his eighth world title.

Against that narrative, to see Sir Lewis Hamilton, someone who claimed four world championships on the trott, from the onset of 2017 until 2020, not even in the contention for a fight this season hurts.

It hurts bad.

He currently trails Max Verstappen (second on the standings), an archrival by 31 points. Moreover, he trails the championship leader Charles Leclerc by 58 points.

It’s not even a case of so near, yet so far; Hamilton is already too far.

And it’s precisely here, where we need to practice the most valuable human emotion that is so utterly underrated. Patience.

What’s happening to Sir Lewis Hamilton, unbelievable that it may be, think the race at Imola where he failed to get past Pierre Gasly for an unsuccessful fight for P12, has happened to many on the grid.

And in order to assess that, you needn’t go beyond a certain Sebastian Vettel, someone who Lewis hammered for no fewer than five seasons.

For someone who delivered a masterstroke for Red Bull for as many as four consecutive seasons, circa 2010-13, where’d he claim the title ahead of a Ferrari and McLaren, Vettel struggled horribly 2014.

It may sound strange, wayward even to suggest that what’s happening to Lewis Hamilton in 2022 happened to Sebastian Vettel in 2014. It was a year where the German finished P5 with 167 points in comparison to Daniel Ricciardo who finished third in the end with a 71-point advantage over the multiple world champion.

Much like George Russell, a newcomer at Mercedes in 2022, Daniel was new to Red Bull in 2014. But as seen on both occasions, Russell’s case, however, being only limited to four races, the inexperienced talent took full control with the established one struggling and playing catch up.

But true greatness lies not only in establishing a string of fantastical achievements on the grid. To that end, Lewis has countless already in his kitty; the most titles so far on the grid, most wins for Mercedes ever, the only driver to notch up 100 race wins. The list is enormous.

What really marks greatness is how one fights back. And on that count, there’s little doubt that Lewis’ phenomenal race craft offers; the way he came back at Brazil after losing out to Max at the US and Mexico Grands Prix, was simply brilliant.

He’s done that in the past whilst he was in the heat of the battle. And there’s no reason to doubt he can do it again, even if comes during an act of damage limitation, since he’s quite far behind after what are only four races in 2022.

The only thing, however, will be to keep the faith. That’s true on both ends: Lewis mustn’t feel dispirited and keep fighting it out. The fans, on their part, shouldn’t give up just yet. If there’s a time where the king needs them, then it’s now.

We need to spare the memes, cut out the foolish anti-Lewis takes on social media and hope for a recovery. Until then, even as his car may not be the best friend, the virtue called patience will certainly act as one.

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