The challenges Hamilton must overcome to topple Schumacher's greatest F1 record
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The challenges Hamilton must overcome to topple Schumacher's greatest F1 record

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Lewis Hamilton has got a hungry young team-mate in George Russell, a take-no-prisoners arch-rival in Max Verstappen, and he reckons his Mercedes W13 car is the fourth best on the 2022 Formula 1 grid. But he says he’ll bounce back like never before from the disappointment of his controversial 2021 world championship defeat

Lewis Hamilton is set to match another of Michael Schumacher’s records this weekend. When the lights go out to signal the start in Bahrain, he will begin his 179th grand prix with Mercedes. That will equal the longevity of the partnership that Schumacher forged at Ferrari. But moving ahead of the German by claiming a peerless eighth world title will be far less of a formality.

For starters, the W13’s potential proved hard to unlock during pre-season testing at Barcelona and Sakhir. While team and driver are no strangers to playing down expectations this early, and the Silver Arrow was never bothering the top of the speed traps (suggesting modest engine modes), there’s greater reason than ever to subscribe to the muted expectations. Mercedes, more than most, is struggling with porpoising down the straights and understeer through the corners.

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