Lewis Hamilton did not appear comfortable during the entire weekend of the Formula One Mexico City GP. His post qualifying interview with David Coulthard was almost monosyllabic such that the ex-F1 driver concluded the on track questioning y saying, “OK Lewis… that’s fine your keeping your cards to your chest.”
Hamilton is chasing a record he claims means nothing which would see him the only Formula one driver to win a race in every season in which he has competed. Given the Mercedes performance where a Mercedes car had led every session on Friday and Saturday except the crucial Q3, clearly Lewis was downbeat.
Mercedes F1 flattered to deceive
Yet as TJ13 reported, Mercedes had flattered to deceive all weekend and was never going to be able to challenge the Red Bull of Max Verstappen during the race.
TJ13: Mercedes hop[es fade in Mexico
Lewis Hamilton who started P3 for the GP found himself up one place after the first corner. Yet George Russell starting P2 revealed, “I think the last probably four races for me have been pretty scrappy and going into Turn 1, I knew I wouldn’t have been able to overtake Max on the outside.”
Interestingly Hamilton’s team mate stated he would have fought harder for his position had it not been with his world champion team mate.
George Russell took it easy on Hamilton
“And then when I had Lewis there, you know probably if it was anyone else but my team-mate, I would have just run them off the road.”
Verstappen started the race on the softer red tyre, while the Mercedes duo opted for the slower but more durable harder yellow rubber.
The tyre choice gave Verstappen the advantage at the standing start as he cruised into turn one almost unchallenged.
Hamilton criticised Mercedes tyre choice repeatedly during the race. When asked in the media pen following the chequered flag whether he would have been better starting on the soft tyre, Lewis agreed.
Hamilton criticises Mercedes decisions
“When I was on the [starting] medium tyre and they pulled me in, there was not really any degradation, so ultimately yes we should have been on the soft [at the start].”
“I had asked the question [before the race] whether one of the Mercedes should have been on the soft tyre [at the start] to attack.”
“And when both Red Bull’s and everyone behind took the softs… I thought.. short!”
“So maybe a loss for us today [race win] but good points.”
Hamilton is clearly at odds with Mercedes strategy team and to be fair to any amateur observer it would have made sense to split the starting tyre strategy between Lewis and George Russell.
Lewis troubled throughout the weekend
Lewis appeared trouble throughout the weekend and in the drivers’ cool down room despite his best finish of the season he was withdrawn refusing to speak with Red Bull drivers Serio Perez and Max Verstappen.
Social media punters observed, “This cooldown room was kinda awkward.”
@scuba13 said: “Poor @LewisHamilton glued to the TV on the cool down room to avoid pointless cringe convo with golden boots.”
Yet it was Hamilton’s criticism of the crowd that appeared to reveal his discomfort with the weekend in its entirety. Booing an posing driver or cheering his failure is a repeated event around the world where F1 races.
Hamilton unnerved by crowd boos
However, unusually Lewis made specific reference the booing he received this weekend.
Speaking during the post-race interviews, the Mercedes driver said: “This has been an amazing crowd, but definitely a bit awkward this time around.
“Boos all day, but nonetheless I have so much love for Mexico and for the people here –- and what a great race event they put on this weekend.”
The Mexican F1 crowd has probably been the most vocal of all the audiences this season to date. Their hero Sergio Perez drives for Red bull and Verstappen is his team mate. The abundance of the Red Bull shirts amongst the massed throngs clearly revealed the crowd’s partisan nature.
Lewis has been boo’d and worse in the past, yet the fact he referenced this during his podium interview was astonishing.
Lewis feeling the pressure
Maybe despite his consistent claims he isn’t interested in records, the pressure for a win this season is finally getting to Hamilton. Clearly here in Mexico the draggy W13 car he drivers was significantly less affected by the 22% thinner air and Lewis may have thought this was his best remaining opportunity.
That or his team’s poor strategy decision clearly unsettled the British F1 champion.
Further Lewis may be realising he isn’t going to finish ahead this season of his team mate.
With just two rounds to go Hamilton’s hope of a victory is fading fast. In Brazil last season Mercedes strapped on a new power unit for Lewis which saw him smash the opposition on their older power units winning the race and keeping him in the title hunt.
Brazilian F1 GP won’t be Hamilton’s saviour this year
This option is not available this season due to the power related nature of the San Paulo circuit and the inferior propulsion the Mercedes W13 delivers.
Hamilton has to hope for a Red Bull failure to maintain his 16 years win record, though with the Ferrari’s woeful in Mexico, this was probably his best chance.
READ MORE: Christian Horner joins Sky F1 boycott
The charge down to Turn 1 in Mexico is always spectacular to watch 🍿#MexicoGP #F1 pic.twitter.com/cFdIsuuZFQ
— Formula 1 (@F1) October 30, 2022
I feel that drivers should start making statements against the booing. Directly addressing the crowd, in such situations, as soon as it happens. Lewis being booed at, max and / or checco says: this is not okay. If you boo at my fellow driver, i do not give interviews.
There is absolutely NO justification in booing ANY driver, in my view. It simply isn’t sporting. It reflects badly on the crowd, not the drivers: it’s time it was stopped.
Booing is evil. It is as egregious as Ted Kravitz baiting RB and Max. “Do not give interviews”.
That is whar Max and Horner are doing. But look at the British Press playing victim!
Some readers (obviously Hamfosis) are advising Max to take Kravitz’s words sportingly. Then why don’t they tell Ham to take the booing lightly?
First say “I love Mexico and Mexicans”. Then say “I am affected by the Mexican crowd’s booing”. What an actor! He has been aptly named a Ham.