Of the 13 races held this season, Charles Leclerc has put himself, and thus, his Ferrari F1-75 on pole seven times this season. That’s more than what Max Verstappen, Sergio Perez or Carlos Sainz have managed so far. That’s more than what Lewis Hamilton, one with 103 pole positions against his name, has managed in 2022.
As a matter of fact, Hamilton’s not bagged a single pole this year.
And yet, where it stands in the recent races, it is Lewis Hamilton who has been outperforming the biggest name on the grid after Max Verstappen: Charles Leclerc.
Interestingly, it’s Charles Leclerc who’s second on the driver standings with 178 points, not Lewis Hamilton.
Having said that, the Briton is trailing not just his teammate George Russell, currently with 158 points but even Ferrari’s other driver- Carlos Sainz, who’s bagged 156 points.
Hamilton is ten points adrift of Carlos Sainz, the famous winner of the 2022 British Grand Prix.
But it must be said that with sheer competence and that indefatigable spirit, Sir Lewis Hamilton has really launched a counterattack of sorts where in the past five races stand. And in doing so, he has, quite possibly, rescued a banal season that was really never going anywhere.
A simple look at the results of what Charles Leclerc managed in the last five Formula 1 Grands Prix vis-a-vis what the seven-time world champion managed at this time says a great deal:
Charles managed a P5 at Canada, P5 at Great Britain, a win at Austria, which was followed by a DNF at France and a P6 at Hungary.
Meanwhile, Lewis Hamilton scored a P3 at Canada, which was followed by a P3 at Great Britain, another P3 at Austria, a P2 at France and another P2 at Hungary.
So while Leclerc managed a DNF and win in his last five races, Lewis Hamilton, despite not winning a single Formula 1 Grand Prix, bagged podiums in all of his five races.
He is, lest it is forgotten, the very driver who was struggling with porpoising issues in his Mercedes that seemed ceaseless at the start of the season and plagued his performances upto the point of the Miami Grand Prix.
Forget also not that Lewis Hamilton is the very driver who’s been seen struggling where qualifying pace was concerned all year long with thirteen races having been held so far, in which he didn’t claim even a single pole.
Anyone who said how contrasting can be the fortunes of a Formula 1 driver and in a space of a few races was certainly not lying or bluffing.
While Leclerc began the season in emphatic fashion, winning events at Bahrain and Australia only to lose momentum later on, so much so that he trails Verstappen by quite some margin, Lewis Hamilton, who was failing to break into top five on the grid has bagged five podiums on the trott.
One reckons, there’s great sense when he says, “Still I Rise,” for everyone can come up with totemic one-liners or virtuous statements but few come to epitomise what they truly believe in.
Hamilton’s recent performances, effectively speaking, have also put his doubters on the backburner for there’s that persistent lot that believes that the Stevenage-born can only top a race result or emerge among the best if he has a great car for company.
Well, neither his nor George Russell’s Mercedes is the fastest machine on the grid and yet, it is Hamilton who has somehow managed to hit the sweet spot of that Mercedes and bested someone like Leclerc (clearly in the fastest car on track) as seen in the recent Grands Prix.