There are only two Formula 1 drivers with seven championships each: Michael Schumacher and Lewis Hamilton. And I don’t mean to be a cad whatsoever, but the reality is that due to the fact that he’s retired and has since suffered a catastrophic skiing injury, the great Michael Schumacher won’t ever be vying for an eighth. Which begs the question: will Hamilton?
After losing out to Verstappen last year in a very controversial decision made by the race stewards at Abu Dhabi in the last outing of the season, does Lewis Hamilton have the fire in him to come back for a run at an eighth title? And even if he did, could he still pull it off?
Ubu Dhabi 2021, simple blunder, or…?
It would be foolish to discount a seven-time world champion after a stolen title and one bad season, but to quell any questions that may arise after failing to perform with a very different car in 2022 (one which George Russell seems to be doing rather well with), he might want to pull up his socks and bash out another convincing season. Preferably one that culminates in a big, shiny winner’s trophy and that all-too-elusive eighth championship title.
If he can’t manage at least one more championship win, people might speculate that the only reason he ever tied the great Schumacher was because of vastly superior machinery and the fact that his teammate for five years was the notable team player, Valtteri Bottas. And that’s probably not the best way to be remembered.
Lewis Hamilton: an undisputed legend in my book, but will everyone see it that way?
Hamilton certainly has his work cut out for him if he does plan on earning that eighth title. The field is full of young, hungry, and very talented drivers, as well as a handful of veterans (Bottas included) that have more than enough skill to take a championship or two for themselves.
One could argue that that’s always been the case, but, really, when was the last time there were so many contenders driving at the same time? There have historically always been two, or three, or even four great drivers a season behind the wheel, but looking at the current crop, there are only three or four drivers who probably don’t have the skill or drive to win it all. Or the car.
Barring a series of huge upsets this year, it certainly doesn’t seem likely, or possible, that there’s any hope for Hamilton to redeem the huge flop that the 2022 season has been for him so far. But if he does want to keep going (and the world hasn’t gone completely mad before then), there’s always next year.
It’s true that he’s not exactly a spring chicken, but he’s by no means an old man either. Fernando Alonso is turning forty-one this season, and if he’s got a good car under him, the two-time champion should be seeing a few more podiums yet, so there’s no reason to believe Lewis doesn’t have some good years left as well.
That being said, if I was Hamilton, I wouldn’t wait too long.
Considering all the facts available to the average fan, it seems more than certain that, if he so desires, Hamilton is more than capable of overcoming this bump in the road. After all, you don’t become a champion in this ultra-elite, shark-eat-shark sport by quitting when the going gets tough. And you definitely don’t become a seven-time champion of this brutal, predominantly rich, white sport as a black kid from Stevenage if you aren’t dedicated as hell and hard as a coffin nail.
If King Lewis wants another title, he’ll get it. Personally, I hope he wants it.