HomeSportsFormula 1‘I think it could happen again’: Mercedes’ plan for Lewis Hamilton in...

‘I think it could happen again’: Mercedes’ plan for Lewis Hamilton in 2022 predicted


Former Formula 1 driver Johnny Herbert believes that 2022 could be the year that Lewis Hamilton wins his eighth F1 Drivers’ Championship.

Hamilton, currently level with Michael Schumacher on seven world titles, was denied the outright record in a controversial ending to the season in Abu Dhabi last year.

However Herbert suggested that he felt Mercedes actually over-achieved in 2021, despite Max Verstappen’s triumph.

The German team won the Constructors’ Championship despite, in Herbert’s opinion, potentially saving some money to target this year’s crown.

And Herbert thinks that may bode well for Hamilton, who led the pack after the opening three days of testing in Barcelona last week.

“I think Mercedes did so well last year because of the budget cap coming into effect, that’s really something that they didn’t spend so much [on] last year,” Herbert, who started 161 races in F1 between 1989 and 2000, told Sky Sports News.

“I think their big upgrade was at Silverstone, Red Bull seemed to do one more or less [at] every race we went to.

“So maybe there’s going to be that, pushing that budget towards what they’re going to be using this year, and I think Mercedes, I think [a world title] could happen again for Lewis.”

The fall-out from the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix has brought about significant changes to the sport, with Michael Masi removed from the role of race director and replaced by Niels Wittich and Eduardo Freitas amid wider alterations.

Car design has also been overhauled, particularly related to aerodynamic regulations.

Formula 1 hopes that their tweaks will lead to more competitive racing, but Herbert’s Sky colleague Martin Brundle cautioned that it may be a little while before it comes to fruition.

“A massive change of regulations like this tends to scatter the pack a little bit,” Brundle explained.

“There are the haves and have-nots and then they will start moving back together. It’s the law of diminishing returns.

“If your car is working really well then the other teams will be able to copy and catch up, and innovate.

“After such a sterling 2021, we have to be a little bit patient but the early signs are good. We’ve got some brilliant drivers on the grid with experienced World Champions alongside a lot of fresh blood and new talent who are trying to steal the crown.”

The 2022 season begins in Bahrain.

The second and final round of testing will be held in the Middle Eastern nation over three days from 10 March, with race day on the opening Grand Prix weekend of the new season on Sunday 20 March.

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