"Motivation wasn't there" - Chandhok makes Hamilton-Senna comparison

Sky Sports pundit and ex-F1 driver Karun Chandhok believes Lewis Hamilton was struggling for motivation at the start of a difficult 2022 season. 
Lewis Hamilton (GBR)
Lewis Hamilton (GBR)

After narrowly missing out on a record-breaking eighth world title in the controversial 2021 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, Hamilton endured one of his most challenging seasons of his career as Mercedes fell from title-winners to the third-fastest team at the start of F1’s new era of aerodynamic regulations. 

Hamilton failed to take a pole position or win a race for the first time in his F1 career and finished sixth in the drivers’ championship, two places and 35 points behind new Mercedes teammate George Russell

Remote video URL

Chandhok reckons Hamilton initially struggled to deal with Mercedes’ lack of competitiveness, drawing a comparison to Ayrton Senna in 1993. 

"Lewis, at the start of the year, I'm sure his motivation wasn't there," Chandhok said on Sky Sports’ F1 2022 season review. “And I can understand that.

"It reminded me of Senna in 1993, this was a guy who was the number one driver of his generation, he arrives at the opening race and goes 'God, I'm only capable of qualifying on the third row of the grid.’

"Where's the motivation? Then we got to Barcelona, they turned a little bit of the corner and he rose to the challenge.”

Russell ‘woke the beast’ in Hamilton 

Race winner George Russell (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 with second placed team mate Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 in parc
Race winner George Russell (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 with second placed team…

Russell impressed in his rookie Mercedes season, claiming the team’s sole race victory in Brazil and becoming the first teammate to beat Hamilton over the course of a season since Nico Rosberg in 2016. 

Chandhok thinks Russell’s run of early form in the opening rounds of the season prompted seven-time world champion Hamilton to respond and lift his game. 

"At the start of the year, it was looking really good for Russell, he was regularly outqualifying Lewis,” he explained. 

"I think he had a bit of a wake-up call in that middle part of the year when Lewis lifted his game, and I think George went on a run where he couldn't get ahead. I think he thought 'woah, I've woken the beast!’

"But to his credit, towards the end of the year - and that weekend and win in Brazil was the standout - he came back. I'm fascinated to see how those two are together next year."

Read More