LEWIS HAMILTON’S era in Formula 1 is OVER, a top F1 pundit has suggested.
The Brit won a record equalling seventh world championship in 2020, going level with Michael Schumacher.
Lewis Hamilton is currently fourth in the F1 driver championship
He appeared destined to win a historic eighth the following year, only for a botching of the rules in the final race in Abu Dhabi to see the title go to Max Verstappen instead.
With Sir Lewis, 38, having not won a race since, Dutch F1 pundit Rob Kamphues thinks that his time at the top is coming to an end.
He wrote in his Formule 1 Magazine column: “Could something have snapped in the great champion?
“Lewis hasn’t won a race since that day, he hasn’t achieved pole, he’s never even started from the front row.
“In 2022 he also finished behind his younger team-mate in the championship and that younger team-mate also won the only race Mercedes won. Not to mention this season.
“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.
“So in a row it’s clear as a lump, right?”
Having easily won last year’s championship, Verstappen has already raced out to a 31-point lead over Hamilton this time around.
Kamphues reckons Hamilton will still believe in himself, however, and can point to the examples of Alain Prost and Fernando Alonso.
He went on: “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.
“He will remind us of Alain Prost; who left Formula 1 with his tail between his legs in the year that Ayrton Senna became World Champion for the third time.
“He did not race in 1992, rejoined Williams in 1993 and promptly became champion himself for a fourth time.
“Lewis will point to Alonso and say ‘How many times have you written him off?’ After his failure at Ferrari, his failed adventure at McLaren and again last winter when he moved from Renault to Aston Martin.
“And look how he now drives like the stars from heaven again.”
Fernando Alonso’s renaissance can offer encouragement to Hamilton