Lewis Hamilton predicted to bag first win of the season at Spa

Michelle Foster
Lewis Hamilton pointing a finger towards the crowd. Silverstone June 2022.

Lewis Hamilton pointing a finger towards the crowd on the eve of the British Grand Prix weekend. Silverstone June 2022.

Damon Hill believes Lewis Hamilton can return from the summer break with a first win, the 1996 World Champion picking the Mercedes driver as his favourite for Spa.

Hamilton, behind the wheel of an under-performing W13, has yet to get off the mark this season as Mercedes have struggled to curb their car’s bouncing.

But with that seemingly in hand, the team have made noticeable progress in recent grands prix with Hamilton on a five race podium streak.

The last two of those were runner-up results in France and Hungary, races in which his team-mate George Russell also made it onto the podium.

With Hamilton’s run improving from three P3s to two P2s, Hill reckons the next step is that first P1 of the championship.

And it could come as early as Spa, the first grand prix after the summer break.

“I think it’s going to be Lewis,” he told the F1 Nation podcast.

“I think if it’s going to be anyone other than the obvious, you know Max Verstappen victory, then I think I’m going to plump for Lewis because I feel in my bones he is going win a race this year.

“I just think it could be situations at Spa that could fall into his into his into his lap a little bit.”

He added: “He’s one there four times and teams make a big thing of momentum going into the summer break, don’t they?

“Well, Mercedes had that because they would have had a front row lockout in Hungary had Hamilton not had that DRS problem in qualifying so they had the momentum.”

The 61-year-old reckons Mercedes, who are said to have a “big, big upgrade” coming this weekend, will also benefit from the FIA’s new technical directive regarding flexi-floors.

As of Belgium, a grey area in the regulations that Ferrari and Red Bull have reportedly exploited will be eradicated, putting Mercedes on a more level footing with their rivals.

“And with that slight rule change which should peg back Ferrari and Red Bull, Mercedes,” Hill declared.

Both Hamilton and Russell are in the fight for second in the Drivers’ Championship, a position that Charles Leclerc currently occupies with 178 points, 20 ahead of Russell and a further 12 up on Hamilton.