Lewis Hamilton’s difficult start to the Formula 1 season has continued into the Monaco Grand Prix.
Heading into this weekend, Hamilton is 6th in the driver standings.
His best result of the season so far was 3rd in the opening race in Bahrain but he only made the podium due to both Sergio Perez and Max Verstappen experiencing mechanical issues late in the race.
Only at the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix did Hamilton finish outside of the points but scrabbling around in 5th and 6th place is a very unfamiliar position for the serial winner.
The seven-time World champion and winner of over 100 Grand Prix is growing increasingly agitated at the car.
This was clear for all to hear during Friday practice when, per the Sun, he got onto the team radio:
“I am f***ing losing my mind. I need elbow pads in this cockpit because it is bouncing so much.”
Toto Wolff was quick to support his star driver and once again called the Mercedes “undriveable”.
"The bouncing is crazy mate" 📻— Sky Sports F1 (@SkySportsF1) May 27, 2022
Difficulties during FP1 for Lewis Hamilton and Mercedes 👇 pic.twitter.com/3kIse4B2Vx
What were the issues that caused so many problems for Lewis Hamilton in FP1? 🔍 pic.twitter.com/2EfW2BcZpe— Sky Sports F1 (@SkySportsF1) May 27, 2022
The problems Mercedes are experiencing with their 2022 car are numerous, but the one that is causing both Hamilton and George Russell so many issues around the tight Monte Carlo circuit is the suspension.
Wolff and the team are aware of this and will be working through the night in an effort to get the car set-up and balance right in time for qualifying.
Qualifying is so important throughout the racing calendar but particularly at Monaco as its iconic street circuit provides few overtaking opportunities.
"It's probably the bumpiest track I've ever driven!"— Sky Sports F1 (@SkySportsF1) May 27, 2022
Lewis Hamilton reflects on a difficult day for Mercedes as their cars had issues with bouncing throughout free practice in Monaco 🇲🇨 pic.twitter.com/1fbNkPXxTu
The Mercedes team will need to see significant improvements if both Hamilton and Russell want to make it to Q3 and then fight for a place in the first three rows.
It is a sad indictment that Mercedes and Hamilton’s goals are now set so low but that is the reality for the team who have struggled to adjust to the new car regulations this season.
Mercedes need to turn it around and fast, they will hope that starts with a solid performance in Monaco – especially after a better weekend in Spain last time around.