November 9, 2023
Kurt Benson

Has Lewis Hamilton missed out entirely on his 8 th World Championship? (2 minute read)

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Abu Dhabi, December 12th, 2021:

Both Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton went into this finale tied with 369.5 points a piece. This finale decided both the Constructors and Drivers Championship for the 2021 Formula One season. Also, it would decide whether or not Lewis Hamilton would secure his 8th record-setting Championship or end the Mercedes dynasty and give Max Verstappen his first Championship.

Most of us remember what happened with Michael Masi and the end of that Grand Prix; it wasn’t pretty. It is probably the most controversial result ever in Formula One. Many will agree that Lewis Hamilton should have won his 8th World Championship that day. I will not run through the specifics because we all know how it played out; I will discuss whether Lewis missed the window completely to win an 8th World Championship.

When we think of the great sports legends our world has seen, we think of Michael Jordan, Serena Williams, Wayne Gretzky, Usain Bolt, Simone Biles, and in F1, Michael Schumacher and Lewis Hamilton. However, if Lewis Hamilton never wins his 8th World Championship, he will be in
Michael Schumacher’s shadow?

So, looking at Lewis Hamilton and his team, Mercedes, today and into the immediate future, things aren’t looking so hot for Lewis in his quest for #8. It also doesn’t help that he’s 38 years old and not getting any younger. Maybe he competes to 40-42, but with Red Bull being so
dominant and Mercedes struggling in this new racing era, what does Mercedes have to do to put Lewis in a contending race car moving forward? Is it possible for Mercedes to make such a leap, and why did this dynasty crumble after 2021?

Excellence in any organization is rare, but when you have it, maintaining that excellence over sustained periods is challenging. We see it repeatedly: the rebuild from the end of a dynasty is long and tragic for the organization and fan base. So, the question for all Mercedes fans is, will we see Mercedes reclaim championship form, or is it over? Did complacency settle in, and winning become the status quo? After winning for almost a decade, the signs of the dynasty ending were there.

The team lost key personnel year after year, resulting in over 20 key roles being poached by rival teams. This is single-handedly Mercedes’s biggest downfall, as this sport requires so much expertise and talent in building the best race car. So now, with a development disadvantage and a hole they need to dig out of, that window for Lewis Hamilton has probably closed.

The rebuild has technically begun, and I doubt we see Mercedes back on the podium’s top step for the foreseeable future. Yes, I said that (Big Mercedes Fan). Now, with the sport capturing so many new fans, it’s up to F1 and the FIA to keep and grow the audience with a competitive landscape, and frankly, that’s not the case and has never been the case in this controversial sports history. So, in closing, I hope to see F1 grow from these dominant eras and bring an equal playing field for all teams competing.