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Lewis Hamilton has has been off the pace so far in the 2022 Formula 1 season, only making one podium and trailing championship leader Max Verstappen by 75 points. Hamilton, 37, has also finished behind Mercedes team-mate George Russell in most races. Former McLaren team-mate Jenson Button thinks Hamilton will be “hurting mentally” but will be “competitive again, if he wants to be”.

Lewis Hamilton

Jenson Button has questioned whether Lewis Hamilton feels his “career is over” after a difficult start to the season with Mercedes.
The seven-time champion has been outperformed by team-mate George Russell over the opening seven races of the campaign.
The 37-year-old is sixth in the Drivers’ Championship, 34 points behind Russell and 75 behind leader Max Verstappen.

Lewis Hamilton’s best results this season have been third place in Bahrain and fourth in Australia.
“I think the big shift for Lewis is he’s driving a car that isn’t competitive in his world,” Hamilton’s former McLaren team-mate Button told The Chris Evans Show on Virgin Radio.
“He’s been fighting for the World Championship since 2014 and his team-mate has come, young upstart George Russell, and he’s been competitive. Because George is driving a car that’s actually better than he was used to [at Williams], it’s given him confidence and he can push a bit harder.

“Whereas Lewis has probably not got so much confidence in the car to be able to extract the maximum out of it. And when you’ve had a few bad races, it hurts mentally. This is a mental sport. It’s not just physical.

“Lewis, as we all know, is one of the best in the world, if not the best in the world at driving a Formula 1 car. He will be competitive again – if he wants to be. That’s the thing. Maybe he thinks his career is over and he wants to go and do something else. Who knows?
“But Lewis, if he has a car that’s good enough to win, he will win races.”
The Formula One season resumes this weekend with the Azerbaijan Grand Prix in Baku.

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“It definitely will be more suited, but I don’t think it’s going to transform our finishing position.
“At the moment, around Monaco we were six tenths behind, and into Baku we will probably be three tenths behind the front runners we hope, for the best case.”