Written by Daniel Whitmore, Edited by Sean McKean
Seven World Championship Titles. 317 Grand Prix Entries. 103 Grand Prix Victories. 193 Podiums. 103 Pole Positions. 62 Fastest Laps. 4492.5 Championship Points. This is, of course, Sir Lewis Hamilton. The debate of “Who is the greatest driver of all time?” is yet to be settled. Hamilton is level with Michael Schumacher with seven world titles, but could an eighth for Hamilton put these debates to bed?
Lewis Hamilton is still at Mercedes-AMG Petronas, a team who are more than capable of fighting for championships. Although Mercedes had dropped in pace in 2022 and so far in the start of 2023, we have been assured by Team Principal, Toto Wolff, that the team is doing everything they can to get their car back to the front of the grid.
If Mercedes give Hamilton a car capable of fighting Red Bull and Ferrari, it is fair to say that there would definitely be a fight for the title. I’m sure we would all love to see a round two between Max Verstappen and Hamilton. 2021 was without a doubt one of the most thrilling seasons of Formula One ever. It would have been exciting to see the fight continue in 2022, but this was not the case unfortunately due to Mercedes’ issues.
As of round eight in the 2023 season, Mercedes are second in the Constructors’ Championship, ahead of Aston Martin and Ferrari. Aston Martin and Ferrari seemed to have a quicker car than Mercedes at the beginning of the season, but certain issues and mistakes have set them back in the early stages of the year. After Mercedes’ major upgrades they brought to Monaco, they have majorly closed the gap to Ferrari. In Spain, the Silver Arrows had a lot more pace and claimed second in the Constructors’ Championship, but Red Bull are still untouchable. Hamilton called the Red Bull “the fastest car I’ve seen compared to the rest” and he added that when Mercedes were that fast, they were never that dominant. Whether that claim was factual or not doesn’t change the fact that Red Bull has an overwhelming advantage on the rest of the teams in 2023 so far.
Mercedes won eight World Constructors’ Championships in a row from 2014 to 2021. They dominated the beginning of the Turbo-Hybrid Era, and they have made their mark in the F1 history books.
Lewis Hamilton was persuaded by 3-time F1 legend Niki Lauda to join the team in 2013. Shocking to most of the F1 community at the time, it was described by Jeremy Clarkson in an interview with Hamilton on Top Gear that it was “a bit like moving from Manchester United to West Ham.”
Hamilton proceeded to win six titles with Mercedes over the following eight years, matching Michael Schumacher's record. Hamilton narrowly missed out on winning the 2016 world title, which he lost to his teammate and childhood karting friend, Nico Rosberg. He also came perilously close to winning the title in his rookie season in F1 in 2007, only losing out due to a mistake he made in a wet Shanghai that saw him aquaplane off in the pitlane and become beached in the gravel. Hamilton lost the Championship to Kimi Raikkonen by a single point.
However, Hamilton made his presence clear to the F1 world immediately in the opening round of the 2007 season in Australia when he went around the outside of Fernando Alonso at the first corner. Hamilton has proved his skill many times over his career in motorsport, such as his incredible pole lap in Singapore in 2018, his maiden victory in Canada in 2007, his supreme defence against Max Verstappen in Monaco in 2019, his pole lap in the rain in the Styrian Grand Prix in 2020, his phenomenal recovery drive from P14 in the 2018 German Grand Prix, and of course, his flawless drive in a rain-soaked Silverstone in 2008.
Red Bull’s dominance has put Hamilton’s hopes for an eighth title on hold, but the fire is still burning in Hamilton to push for another championship victory. Will Mercedes challenge Red Bull soon enough? Will we see a round 2 between Verstappen and Hamilton? Will George Russell prove himself as a worthy adversary of Hamilton and pose a threat to his championship hopes? Can Aston Martin and Ferrari find themselves in contention as well? One thing is for sure, the coming years in F1 are bursting with excitement.