Lewis Hamilton compares the 2009 season with McLaren with that of the current 2022 F1 season as the struggles are similar.

For Mercedes, it has been a good season now despite a slow start for both Hamilton and George Russell. Troubled during pre-season by the dreaded porpoising, they have been starting to get their act together. While Ferrari and Red Bull have been monopolising the championship so far, Mercedes as third best constructor so far are “getting there” in terms of earning a race win.

It is shades of 2009 when Hamilton was at McLaren and a difficult car made good and two wins followed before the end of that season at Hungary and Singapore. So, not dissimilar to 13 years ago, the Brit being the common denominator between the two years.

“I remember it very clearly, 2009,” said Hamilton. “I remember so many elements of it. I remember arriving in February or January I think it was, coming back from winter training and I remember walking along or being in a meeting with the guys and they’re like, yeah we’ve already hit pretty hard our downforce target”.

“And I remember back then they said that from their interpretation, it was 50% less downforce than the previous year. And they’re like, yeah, we’ve already hit targets and I remember being wow, really? That means you’ve probably not set it high enough and I remember getting in the car in Portimao I think it was and it was horrendous to drive. It was the worst car that I had driven apart from the engine was good, but I was three wheeling everywhere, the wheel was coming up massively”.

“So I remember the struggles of that year, qualifying 15th or whatever it was in the first race and then just continuously chipping away and I remember getting a big upgrade at Nurburgring and the radio… they only had one kit and because I was ahead on points, I think it was, I got the upgrade and I remember going through Turn 6 and 7, it was the first time we could take it flat. And I remember I accidentally had the radio on and I made this whoo-hoo kind of noise and they played it back to the guys back in the factory and then we got our first win in Budapest, very similar when we were in February sitting down in the room, it looks like a glorious… the set-up… we’d got a lot of performance on the car, a lot of confidence, like, yeah, the car’s going to be good and then you get in the thing and it was bouncing and it’s taken us a long time to fix that, taken a lot of performance off that car to enable it to stop bouncing. But I would say this experience is just an… it’s impressive to see a group of people just continuously not giving up, what you see within these teams”.

“I think we haven’t made that big step that we made in 2009 to enable us perhaps to win in Budapest but who knows. We’re not giving up, we’re staying pedal to the metal. It’s a hot race there. Maybe our car will be good, maybe we can be closer to these guys. I hope so, so much, because I love that track. So I hope the car feels good there,” summed up Hamilton.

As it transpired, no win still but a second (Hamilton) and third (Russell) being their joint best result in 2022. Thus far, they have been tremendously consistent in hindsight and are very close to a win. It’s really is case of deja-vu for the Stevenage driver and in 2009 of it came good of course with the two wins.

Mercedes are getting there and if any team and driver combination know how to throw a spanner in the works, they can. The whole outfit; on track and back at Brackley know how to win. Spa-Francorchamps at the end of august will be intriguing and Hamilton has four wins there, what price a fifth?.

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