Hamilton and Mercedes era declared ‘over’ by ex-Ferrari F1 star

Lewis Hamilton and Mercedes’ era of challenging for F1 world championships is over, a former Ferrari race winner has claimed. 
Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1. Formula 1 World Championship, Rd 4, Azerbaijan Grand Prix, Baku Street Circuit,
Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1. Formula 1 World Championship, Rd 4…

Seven-time world champion Hamilton last won a world title in 2020 and was controversially denied a record-breaking eighth drivers’ crown at the 2021 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix

Since then, Hamilton has been forced to watch his great title rival Max Verstappen dominate the sport and win a further two world championships while Mercedes have faced competitive struggles. 

Hamilton has not won a race for the last two seasons - a drought stretching back to the 2021 Saudi Arabian Grand Prix - while Mercedes endured their first winless campaign since 2011 last year. 

Mercedes are hoping to get back on level terms with Red Bull in 2024 with their all-new W15 challenger.

But Eddie Irvine, who claimed four victories and finished runner-up in the 1999 F1 world championship, believes Hamilton, now 39, has little chance of breaking the record he shares with Michael Schumacher

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“The era of Hamilton and Mercedes’ triumphs is now over,” Irvine told Italy’s La Gazzetta dello Sport.

“But Lewis is still a very good driver, very goal-oriented, and willing to get results. He is still doing a great job behind the wheel of an F1 car even if the comparison with Verstappen is tough, because Max is younger, has a bit more speed and a huge belief in his own means.

“Hamilton’s prospects will depend on how competitive Mercedes will be in 2024. If Toto Wolff’s team returns to a fast car, then Lewis could certainly win one or more races, something he has failed to do in the last two seasons.

“With his experience, he has shown that he knows how to take every opportunity that comes his way in both qualifying and the race. However, I doubt that he will be able to take the Championship again and realise his dream of winning an eighth title.”

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