Lining up 11th on the Abu Dhabi grid, Lewis Hamilton has one opportunity remaining to end what Martin Brundle called a “shock” win-less streak.
Having won six World titles in seven years, and fought for a record-breaking eighth in 2021, little did Hamilton or Mercedes realise that’s where his success would stall.
As Mercedes’ charge faulted in the new ground-effect aerodynamic era, the Briton hasn’t won a Grand Prix in two years, extending his win-less streak to 44 races.
One chance left for Lewis Hamilton…
It’s a stat that has shocked former F1 driver Brundle.
“Yeah, it still feels like a shock that you know Lewis hasn’t won a race now for two seasons,” the commentator told Sky Sports.
“He’s still got one more chance this weekend but I do feel that he’s been on fine form, particularly in the second half of the season.”
Hamilton’s chances of ending his run in Abu Dhabi were dealt a blow on Saturday in a wretched qualifying session.
Lacking the pace to progress into the pole position shoot-out, he finished down in 11th place having missed out on Q3 by a tenth of a second.
His team boss Toto Wolff was frustrated at having to once again find an explanation for why Mercedes were unable to perform.
“It just didn’t come together. Probably that’s what was in the car but expectations were higher,” Wolff told Sky Sports television.
“I’m fed up with having explanations why it didn’t go well. We were good in the hot, we weren’t in the cold. Previous days it has been the other way around.
“I’m happy that this was the last qualifying of the season and we’re going to come with a new car (in 2024).”
Hamilton too is happy to be seeing the back of the W14.
“I wouldn’t say that I’m relieved,” he told the media including PlanetF1.com. “I’m definitely happy it’s nearly over.
“It’s more inconsistent than ever before. It’s just up and down.
“Per corner – from the moment you hit the brakes, the moment you turn to the moment you hit the apex, it’s massively out of balance and very hard to predict what’s going to happen.
“The tyres were fine, it was just the car.”