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F1: Lewis Hamilton gives up on championship battle this season

We are only in the fourth race weekend of the 2022 Formula One season, but Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton has concluded that he and his team won’t be fighting for this year’s Constructors’ and Drivers’ World Championship titles.

Mercedes showed an extreme lack of pace against Ferrari and the Red Bull in the first three races of the season, and things did not improve at the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix at Imola this weekend.

Italy hosted the first sprint race of the season, and Hamilton only managed to finish in 14th place, a step back from his initial qualifying grid spot. His teammate George Russel maintained 11th place, but both cars were clearly weak as they failed to overtake even in the DRS zones.

During qualifying on Friday, both Mercedes drivers did not even make it into Q3, showing further just how far off the pace they continue to be. They were already about a second off the pace in the opening rounds of the season, and it seems that they are falling even further back.

“We are obviously not fighting for the championship. But we are fighting to understand the car and improve and progress through the year. That’s all we can hope for right now,” said Hamilton, as quoted by BBC Sport.