What else would you actually expect from a seven-time world champion such as Lewis Hamilton other than sensational races, magnificent efforts and titanic duels at the front of the grid?
In some ways it may not be wrong to suggest that if winning is a habit, then the famous Stevenage-born Lewis Hamilton proved himself to be a master cultivator of it.
From the onset of 2014, the first season of the new-age turbo-hybrid era of Formula 1 until the very end of 2021, the season finale, Lewis Hamilton, quite simply proved himself to be in a league of his won. The very fact that in these eight years, he- and no one else- won no fewer than six world titles was testimony to why they call Formula 1 Grand Prix races as events where there was prevalence of the ‘Hammertime!’
Even as he was left aghast, somewhat perplexed but utterly jaded at the conclusion of the 2021 season-finale, i.e., the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, Lewis Hamilton made a promise to fans and most importantly, himself that he would bounce back in 2022.
And that’s precisely where the problem has been this season. Forget race wins and heroic race victories garnered by fighting for every inch of the space left on the tarmac, Lewis Hamilton’s gone on to manage just a solitary podium with five races done and dusted.
In the season-opening Bahrain Grand Prix of 2022, all that Hamilton, now a veteran of the sport managed, was a fighting third.
For someone who’s already hit a century of race wins in the top flight of F1, Lewis Hamilton has not even managed a best finish of P2 so far, having raced at Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, Australia, Emilia Romagna (where he finished a lowly thirteenth on the grid), and Miami, where Hamilton battled for a sixth-place finish in the end.
But as the F1 caravan descended upon Catalunya, in Barcelona, the home to the rip roaring Spanish Grand Prix, a high downforce track where drivers engage in a peculiarly challenging slugfest of speed, things began to change somewhat.
At least, that’s the idea one got after the Friday-bound second practice session came to an end with Russell in second and Lewis Hamilton in third, as both drivers chased the fast Ferrari of Charles Leclerc.
And even as Saturday’s much important qualifying session has ended with Charles Leclerc, once again, taking another pole position of the season, though his first at Spain, many eyes- if not all- will be transfixed on what Hamilton can do.
For starters, Lewis, after demonstrating an initial burst of raw pace on Friday, managed sixth in the end, not a terrible result given where most would’ve imagined his W13 stifled by porpoising issues at!
But what’s most important and central to the theme that Lewis Hamilton may go on to do something special, if not utterly spectacular, at the 2022 Spanish Grand Prix is down to the historical significance of the track when tied to Lewis’ next-to-flawless racecraft.
Lest it is forgotten, no other driver and let that sink in, has won the Spanish Grand Prix on every single occasion beginning from the 2017 event.
Whilst it was a young but up and coming Max Verstappen who would take the famous 2016 win here at Spain, setting the record for the youngest Formula 1 driver to win a Grand Prix, Lewis Hamilton would prove himself to be quite a showman at the very venue next year onwards.
If you win at a particular venue on back-to-back occasions, it could even be down to a slice of luck. Three wins at a particular track could, essentially speaking, poin to your instinct for domination. But five consecutive wins at the very same track points to nothing else but the obliteration of other drivers on the grid.
Hamilton, realizing that he might not be in for a win, will in the very least, try to come up with an inspired drive at the Circuit de Barcelona at Catalunya where he’s won on a total of six separate occasions. That’s collecting nearly a tenth of all races ever held at Spain as up to this point, the Spanish Grand Prix has been held on 61 occasions.
If there’s a venue that could mark the return of the old and evergreen Lewis Hamilton into being the fighting force that he truly is, then it’s the Spanish Grand Prix.