Lewis Hamilton has a remarkable record of taking a pole position and winning a race in each of the 15 Formula 1 seasons he’s competed in. That is, of course, up until this year.
Hamilton has a record 103 victories in F1, some of which were simply brilliant, but not even an outstanding drive could see him finish on the top step of the podium with the state of his Mercedes.
The W13 has been prone to porpoising with Mercedes not seeing the potential problem of bouncing, with the return of ground effect, when running the numbers in the wind tunnel pre-season.
It means Hamilton and George Russell have been left to pick up the pieces when Red Bull and Ferrari have crumbled, but they are still some way off snatching a race win. Will Hamilton‘s incredible winning-streak finally come to an end in 2022?
How can Hamilton win an F1 race in 2022?
There are a couple of scenarios Hamilton can win for a 104th time in F1. He will be hoping Mercedes get there act together and can develop their way back into race-winning contention.
Barcelona was Mercedes‘ best race weekend so far with Russell fighting against Max Verstappen and Sergio Perez, whilst Hamilton showed great pace when fighting back through the field, having suffered a puncture when making contact with Kevin Magnussen on Lap 1.
The latest event in Canada saw Hamilton cross the line seven seconds behind Verstappen and Carlos Sainz, who were both pushing very hard in the final 15 laps after the safety car restart.
Given Hamilton was nowhere near on the limit compared to the leaders, more encouragement can be taken from Mercedes, which may explain why the seven-time world champion was very happy post-race, more so than most of his other 183 podiums in F1.
We’re not even halfway through the season so a lot can change and there are some tracks such as Silverstone, Paul Ricard and the Hungaroring which should play to the strengths of the Mercedes.
The problem is, F1‘s $141.2 million budget cap for this year does make it tougher for a team to make up lost ground.
Mercedes have more major upgrades to bring, including at this weekend’s British GP, so they can certainly get closer to Red Bull and Ferrari.
Getting ahead of those teams on outright pace, is unlikely, but as long as Hamilton has a fighting chance to win, don’t dismiss him.
A chaotic race to keep the streak alive
The other way Hamilton can win a Grand Prix in 2022 is to take advantage of a crazy race which is yet to happen this year.
Every F1 season is guaranteed at least one manic race. Think last year’s Hungarian GP, Pierre Gasly‘s maiden win at Monza in 2020, Hockenheim 2019 when mixed conditions caused mayhem.
A race of attrition or wet weather could give the 37-year-old Hamilton an opportunity to be victorious, although his teammate Russell will also be in the mix too.
Can Hamilton take pole position in 2022?
Hamilton also has a 100 percent pole position streak to maintain which will be a little harder to keep up, given there are less variables compared to a 300km F1 race.
If Mercedes don’t get there act together, only an exceptional lap in wet conditions can realistically see Hamilton take pole position in 2022.
That said, Verstappen showed in Canada that he is just as mighty in the wet when he topped each segment of qualifying.
Hamilton took just one pole position in each of the 2010 and 2011 seasons, something he’ll be hoping to at least match at some point this year.
The streak is not yet over and out.