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Lewis Hamilton, McLaren MP4-24 Mercedes takes the chequered flag for victory
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Hamilton's first experience of turning silver into gold

The seven-time Formula 1 world champion has been lumbered with a duff car before the 2022 Mercedes. Back in 2009, McLaren’s alchemists transformed the disastrous MP4-24 into a winning car with Lewis Hamilton at the wheel. And now it’s happening again at his current team, but can the rate of progress be matched this year?

When it became apparent at the start of the 2022 Formula 1 season that Mercedes was in trouble, some observers claimed that it was the first time Lewis Hamilton had been given an uncompetitive car. But those with longer memories recalled 2009, when the McLaren MP4-24 proved to be a total disaster at the start of the year. Hamilton was left struggling in the wake of Brawn and Red Bull in a season that was dominated by the double diffuser.

There are many parallels between the situations in 2009 and 2022, as well as some differences. The common link is that Hamilton never gave up and helped to drive the team on, and in both cases his engineers responded and worked away to improve the car.

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