What's Wrong With Lewis Hamilton?
Would The Real Lewis Hamilton Please Stand Up?
Lewis Hamilton won the race in Azerbaijan last weekend but lets be serious, it wasn't deserved was it? It was lucky! Starting 2nd and being forced to pit due to locking and running off put Lewis 3rd behind his main rival and his team-mate. Only Bottas' tyre explosion and Vettel's mind explosion gave Hamilton the win. Very fortunate indeed!
This was of course Round 4 of the 2018 F1 World Championship and the first to feature a win from Mercedes at all. Quite something considering the power of Mercedes in the Hybrid turbo era.
You could argue that Qualifying in Melbourne was a flash of Lewis at his best, but in reality that was about Mercedes getting the car in the perfect window. In which is is still the fastest out there. It is also clear that getting the car into that window is significantly more difficult than it was in the past few seasons. Is the car being difficult to setup enough to destabilize Hamilton?
Something just something has been missing. Since pre-season testing I've noticed a significant change in demeanour from Lewis, he's been down, disheartened. He certainly hasn't looked like his usual buzzing excitable self, and this in itself is a worry. Lewis has proved over the years that he needs to be in the right 'head space' to perform at his own stellar best, and so far in 2018 we've seen no evidence of that. What we've seen is the lacklustre Lewis that turns up and gets beaten by his team mate, not the lewis that turns up and leaves people scratching their heads wondering how he could be so fast. Remember past seasons when he was having trouble with his father, or trouble with his then girlfriend Nicole, he went through rocky patches on track, is this the Lewis that we are seeing again?
It's also not just out of the car that this is noticeable, his team radio is also very telling. Snapping, questioning the team, re-questioning strategy that he and his engineers have already worked hard to put in place in advance.
Over the winter we have also seen Lewis cleanse all of his social media and limit his output due to the backlash over the boys-wearing-dresses comment. He also took a battering in the British media over the paradise papers leak about the loopholes he used to pay as little tax as possible on his Jet. He's also looking for a new contract for next year with relevant rises that haven't been as forthcoming as he would have hoped, leaving him with a dilemma over what to do next year and beyond.
All of this adds up to us now seeing Lewis suffering a crisis of confidence, Feeling a lack of true support and an ever bigger mountain to climb to win. Does he have the willpower to do it? To get back on top? To fight to be the best again?
For F1 2018-spec we have three teams capable of winning, We have 6 drivers capable of winning and taking points off each other. If Lewis wants to retain his title he is going to need to wake up! Fast.