Lewis Hamilton felt confident on Friday that he could continue his streak of at least one grand Prix victory each year since his debut in 2007 by winning a race this year. Mercedes’ 2022 season has been unpredictable, but the seven-time world champion has come very near to scoring a victory, most notably in Zandvoort last weekend. The Italian Grand Prix is this weekend, and he remarked at Monza ahead of it, “I do feel that I have the opportunity this year, we’ve still got seven races to go, and that’s still a really huge ambition for us as a team to go back to the front and be battling for the lead.”
A grid penalty for an engine change, the Briton’s fourth power unit of the year, has complicated his quest for the checkered flag in Italy.
He used the first-lap accident with Fernando Alonso’s Alpine at the Belgium Grand Prix as justification for taking a fourth engine. “The third engine that I had, brand new, in Spa, is still being worked on. Therefore I can’t use it right now, so I have to take a fourth,” he said.
“That was my fault. We still have optimism that we can use that in the future. But I have to get my back as well as I can, “Added he.
A record-breaking ninth world championship appears out of reach for him this year as he trails Max Verstappen of Red Bull by 152 points in the standings, although Hamilton’s demeanor suggested he still believed there was plenty to look forward to in the tail end of this season.
We’ve been making so much progress as a team, and we’ve closed the gap more and more – or at least we’re closing the gap more and more – weekend after weekend. Of course, you’d always feel better if you came off a victory.
Of course, we have no idea how the vehicle will perform this weekend; we’ll find out if it will be as excellent as it was in the previous race.
Even though he was hoping to win, he made it clear that preserving his status as the only driver to have won a race every season had no personal meaning for him.
Since we’ve had a chance to win every year since 2007, he remarked, “it honestly doesn’t matter to me at all.
Although I’m striving to win this year, I’m not focused on my record. But I don’t really care about records in general, so the record isn’t that significant to me,” Hamilton added.
Lewis has taken a new Power Unit for this event, his fourth of the season, and will get a grid penalty for Sunday’s race, Mercedes tweeted after confirming the engine move.
The regulations enable each driver to use three power units per year; any more modifications must be paid for with a grid penalty.
According to the Formula One website, “It has not yet been confirmed whether the seven-time champion will be dropped to the back of the grid.”
Mick Schumacher also picks up a penalty for Sunday’s race after his team Haas announced a gearbox change for his car.