Formula 1 | Hamilton: Winning title so early is ‘never great’ for F1 and fans
Lewis Hamilton says he understands fans regarding Max Verstappen’s 2022 Championship Game 2 dominance – while admitting his own years of dominance have been equally unsatisfying for fans and the sport.
This weekend’s Singapore Grand Prix is Verstappen’s first chance to seal the 2022 title, although he must win the race and his main rival Charles Leclerc does not score more than three points. Sergio Perez and George Russell also remain in contention for now.
It’s a stark contrast to Hamilton and Verstappen’s bitter fight for the championship in 2021, which was only concluded in the final round of the season in Abu Dhabi.
« Certainly, I understand that it’s not top fans because for everyone, and even for us last year, to go all the way, it’s intense for everyone. So it’s not never great for F1 or for the fans when a title fight ends too soon. »
While his titles in 2008 and 2014 against Felipe Massa and Nico Rosberg respectively came down to the wire, his other five were all secured with two or three Grands Prix to spare.
But in all of those cases, his challengers – variously Rosberg, Sebastian Vettel and Valtteri Bottas – had long since faded from realistic title contention like Leclerc did this year.
« I’ve had the experience of wrapping up my title campaign early in places like Mexico… for me as an individual it’s great, but for the sport itself it’s not spectacular So I’m really grateful to have had a battle like 2008 until the last 17 seconds, and obviously last year pretty much the same. »
« Let’s hope for the future that it will get a little better. »
Hamilton can strip Verstappen of the title if he wins on Sunday.
“It would be great… to have the victory! Because Max will be titled in Japan or a Grand Prix later if not. of our team, in terms of focus. Just seeing how hard everyone is working is the most inspiring thing for me. Trying to come up with solutions, trying to crack the code. It’s really impressive, because that it’s just a very tough season. »
« Winning here…I would definitely say this is a track we’ve struggled on a lot in the past with our Mercedes. I don’t think it was aero based, it was more likely the ride quality , we hadn’t been as good as some of the others had been. »
« We’ll find out if that’s a theory still true this weekend, but they’ve resurfaced on some parts of the circuit, so hopefully it’s not as bumpy as before. »
« We hope the car will perform better here, but it really depends on how bumpy the track is. Bumps have often upset our F1, in many cases. Maybe the car will be fine, maybe not. So I don’t have any expectations, I’m just going to try to have the best weekend possible. »