Lewis Hamilton still has an interest in F1 amid his ongoing struggles, according to former Mercedes chief Norbert Haug. The seven-time world champion has endured a dismal start to the new F1 season and has fallen to seventh in the overall standings.
Hamilton has cut a frustrated figure during the early part of the season as has struggled to get the best out of his Mercedes car since it was redesigned in the winter in the wake of a whole host of F1 regulation changes. The Briton has been swept away by his rivals and could only muster a 10th-place finish in Saudi Arabia and 13th-place in Imola. And he has been outshone by his new Silver Arrows team-mate George Russell.
Hamilton is 37 and had been tipped to retire during the off-season after missing out on landing a record-breaking eighth championship following a controversial end to the 2021 season as Max Verstappen claimed his maiden title. And Hamilton’s career is in danger of petering out if he can’t turn his fortunes around in the coming months.
But, despite the driver’s woes, Haug has tipped the veteran to bounce back. “I don’t think Lewis will lose interest,” said the ex-Mercedes motorsport vice president. “He actually lost the title twice – once in 2007, which was a team mistake, and in 2021 through a wrong decision by the FIA.
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And Haug admits there could now be an F1 power shift. “I’m not worried that Lewis could lose motivation,” continued the 69-year-old. “But we are experiencing a generational change in Formula One. Not only by Verstappen, also by Russell, [Lando] Norris, Leclerc – if he doesn’t often make mistakes like he did in Imola.”
The 2022 F1 season is set to resume at the inaugural Miami Grand Prix this weekend. And Hamilton knows he will have to produce a much better performance than he managed in Imola if he is to compete at the front of the grid.