Lewis Hamilton is struggling so far in 2022 and he is copping it from everywhere, with even a rival’s dad sticking the boot in.
Lewis Hamilton is having a shocker so far this F1 season and he’s copping it from all angles, including from the father of his fierce rival.
The seven-time world champion has looked like a mere mortal behind the wheel this season and has fallen back to the pack as a result of Mercedes’ sub-par car.
Mercedes is lagging behind Red Bull and Ferrari and Hamilton has even admitted he is out of the world championship race after his dismal 13th place finish at the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix on Monday morning (AEST).
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To make things worse, he was lapped by bitter rival Max Verstappen as the Dutchman cruised to victory in Italy.
It would have been a satisfying moment for Verstappen, who went head-to-head with Hamilton in an intense championship battle last year.
Verstappen’s dad Jos said it brought a smile to his face to see his son lap Hamilton in Italy.
“Max had an excellent weekend in Imola,” he wrote in a column on his son’s official website.
“I found him incredibly strong. He didn’t make a single mistake, was solid and completely in control.
“Red Bull clearly made a step in the right direction. Of course, we knew the car would get an upgrade in Italy, but with the weather conditions it was hard to make a comparison. But we can definitely conclude that we’ve become stronger.
“Honestly, I did enjoy seeing Max lap Hamilton, after everything that happened last year.
“Hamilton really had a tough time, whereas his teammate George Russell seemed to be more balanced. It’s not often you have the opportunity to lap a Mercedes.”
The swipe comes after Red Bull’s advisor Helmut Marko quipped Hamilton made the wrong decision to continue racing following his Italian nightmare on the weekend.
Marko joked to Sky Sports: “I mean, he was lapped by us, so maybe he should have stopped last year.”
But Marko’s Red Bull colleague Christian Horner was more sympathetic to his Mercedes rival.
He said: “He’s obviously had a horrible weekend, but he’s still a seven-time world champion.
“He hasn’t forgotten how to drive in the last four races, so at some point, they’ll sort their issues out and he’ll become a factor, I’ve got no doubt. But obviously the young guys are doing a great job at the moment.”
Verstappen was indifferent to Hamilton and Mercedes’ issues.
“Mercedes has been slow all year, so for me it’s not anything exciting, it just happens,” he said.
Hamilton finished out of the points in Imola and way behind his new teammate George Russell, who came fourth.
He finished third at the season opening Bahrain Grand Prix but has looked a shadow of his former self as Mercedes struggles with the new era of F1 regulations.
Verstappen is second in the drivers championship and 31 points ahead of Hamilton, who is in seventh.
After a strong weekend in Italy, Red Bull is second in the constructors standings, 36 points in front of Mercedes in third.
The F1 season resumes at the Miami Grand Prix on Monday May 9 (AEST).