Damon Hill declares Lewis Hamilton ‘is back’ ahead of São Paulo Grand Prix

Mark Scott
Max Verstappen shakes hands with Lewis Hamilton. Mexico October 2022

Damon Hill and Tom Clarkson are both convinced Lewis Hamilton is back to his best after taking into consideration his most recent race day performances.

Hamilton has recorded back-to-back P2 podium finishes at the United States Grand Prix and the Mexico City Grand Prix respectively and his motivation will be given another timely boost as he prepares to race in Brazil, a nation that has taken Hamilton to their hearts and vice versa.

The seven-time World Champion was awarded Brazilian citizenship earlier in the week and his incredible comeback performances at the 2021 São Paulo Grand Prix weekend will no doubt still be fresh in Hamilton’s mind.

But it was the US Grand Prix specifically that has stood out to Hill in recent weeks.

“We have had some good action in the last couple of races,” Hill said on the latest episode of F1 Nation.

“The Grand Prix in Austin was very good. I like that because we actually saw at the end that Lewis [Hamilton] was at the front and leading the race.

“And it’s I think it’s the first time we’ve seen that scenario since Abu Dhabi last year. So, you know, he’s back. Lewis is back is at the front.”

Clarkson, F1 Nation host and someone who has seen a lot of Hamilton this year in his role as interviewer of the official FIA press conferences, thinks the Mercedes driver has finally recovered from the hangover of losing the title in such controversial circumstances at Abu Dhabi in 2021.

“I think we’re seeing a fully motivated Lewis,” Clarkson said.

“Not to say that he wasn’t motivated in the first half of this year, but I think the ramifications of what happened in Abu Dhabi for him have dragged on a bit and I think he arrived at the first race this year, just a little bit at sea.

“I think it took him into mid-season to get fully back to where he should be and where we know what he’s capable of.

“And I think now, it’s just when you talk to him, just talking to him, whereas he was a bit deflated in the first half of the year.

“Now when you talk to him, he’s loving it, and he’s talking about another five years in the sport.

“That’s how much he’s loving it. And I think Toto Wolff, I’m sure you had this relationship with Frank Williams, Damon, but I think Toto Wolff completely understands that man, knows what buttons to press to get the best out of him.

“And I think that combination is very powerful. And Lewis is driving beautifully.”

With two rounds of the F1 2022 season remaining, Hamilton finds himself P5 in the World Championship standings and 15 points behind team-mate George Russell, who is looking to finish above Hamilton at the first time of asking.

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