Lewis Hamilton will ‘probably’ be in denial about the extent of Mercedes’ slump since the start of last season, according to Dutch F1 pundit Rob Kamphues.



The seven-time world champion is in the longest victory drought of his career, and his situation was recently made more complicated by a split with long-serving performance coach Angela Cullen.



Prospects of Hamilton finding his first Grand Prix win since 2021 once again appear remote this season, with Red Bull establishing themselves as the team to beat.

The Brit may therefore have to rely on misfortune for Max Verstappen and Sergio Perez if he is to stand atop the podium at some point this season.



Rapid change at Mercedes has left the team in an uncertain situation. Hamilton is approaching the end of his contract, new ground-effect design regulations were introduced last year, former chief strategist James Vowles has now joined Williams and Cullen is no longer part of Hamilton’s backroom team.

Writing for Formule 1 Magazine, Kamphues has suggested that the Hamilton era – which saw him rack up a record-equalling seven world titles – could be over, but added that the Brit may ‘think otherwise’.



“Lewis hasn’t won a race since that day [he lost to Max Verstappen in Abu Dhabi], he hasn’t achieved pole, he’s never even started from the front row,” added the Dutchman. “It also seems that the era of Mercedes is over.

“The idea that the empire is collapsing is also confirmed by the transfer of team boss-designate James Vowles to Williams and the departure of Lewis’ beloved physio Angela Cullen. Lewis himself will probably think otherwise.



“He will say that although he scored fewer points than George Russell last season, he still beat him when it came to speed. Lewis will point to [Fernando] Alonso and say ‘How many times have you written him off?’ And look how he now drives like the stars from heaven again.”

With Mercedes struggling to claw back the gap to Red Bull, speculation simmers away on the issue of Hamilton’s future as he continues to stall on signing a new deal with the Silver Arrows.

At 38 years old, the former McLaren youngster may wish to join a team that gives him the greatest chance of winning another championship.

Kamphues suggests that even taking a brief hiatus before joining up with a more competitive outfit may not do the trick. “Suppose Lewis takes a year off and Aston Martin [end up] buying so many staff from Red Bull that Max gets a worthless car,” he said.

“In two years, Lewis takes over from Alonso after a year of lounging. It could of course happen, although it is all highly unlikely that he will win an eighth title in 2025.”


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