The rapid decline of Mercedes over the last 18 months has been well documented. Ever since Lewis Hamilton was robbed of victory in the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix back in 2021 and robbed of a record-breaking eighth World Championship in the process, Mercedes haven’t been able to regularly contend for race victories. In fact, the 2022 season was the first season in the career of the legendary Englishman in which he finished the campaign without a single victory under his belt.

He did come close to success on many occasions, mind you. He looked to be on course for a ninth victory at the British Grand Prix before a late safety car curtailed his hopes. He also looked to be on course for glory in enemy territory in the Netherlands before once again, a late safety car was deployed.

The Current Campaign

This season, he managed to pick up his first podium of the campaign in Australia, and there are hopes within the Mercedes team that the Silver Arrows are close to matching the pace of the grid-leading Red Bulls. The team had better hope they find some more pace, otherwise, Hamilton may very well gamble on himself once again in the hopes of finding a new team that will take him to that elusive eighth world championship.

LH44 has gambled on himself before and come up trumps. He stunned the world just over a decade ago when he announced that he would be leaving McLaren for Mercedes. The British team was among the grid’s frontrunners at the time while the German outfit was a member of the midfield. As those who are familiar with Joe Fortune games and opportunities will tell you though, sometimes you can hit it big when betting.

That’s exactly what happened with Hamilton. His decision to join Mercedes turned out to be a masterstroke, and the Silver Arrows have led him to six world championships. But as of 2023, he is currently in a drought unlike any other.

At the time of writing, Lewis Hamilton is currently 26 races without a win. That’s the longest drought of his career and by some distance. But how many other droughts has the Stevenage-born star had to endure?

11 Races: China 2008 - Hungary 2009

Prior to the current drought, he was during, the longest Lewis Hamilton had gone without a victory throughout his entire 16-year career was 11 races. To put that into context, former World Champions Jenson Button and Nico Rosberg had to wait for over 110 races for their first win. Current Red Bull man Sergio Perez had to wait even longer than that, racking up a whopping 190 race starts before he secured his maiden victory.

The first drought he embarked on came at the culmination of his maiden world championship-winning campaign in 2008. At the final race of the season that year, Hamilton memorably overtook Timo Glock on the final corner of the final lap of the final race of the season to secure the fifth-place finish he needed to secure the title. However, the following season a whole host of regulation changes meant that McLaren suddenly found themselves way down the pecking order.

Hamilton’s title defense couldn’t have gone much worse. Throughout the middle of the season, the reigning world champion finished 12th in Monaco, 13th in Turkey, 16th in Great Britain, and 18th in Germany. But two weeks on from that disastrous result at the Nürburgring, Hamilton and McLaren were back.

11 races on from his most recent victory at the 2008 Chinese Grand Prix, Hamilton was once again a contender. He qualified in fourth place at the 2009 Hungarian Grand Prix and following an early retirement from pole sitter Fernando Alonso, the door opened for a first victory of the campaign. Hamilton stormed through said door to secure the victory however, he was unable to keep his championship, with the crown eventually going to fellow Brit Jenson Button.

11 Races: USA 2012 - Hungary 2013

For the second time in his career, Lewis Hamilton would head to the Hungarian Grand Prix - this time in 2013 - on the back of 11 Grand Prix without a victory. His 21st and final victory for McLaren would come at the 2012 USA Grand Prix and in 2013, he embarked on pastures new in his first season with Mercedes. The decision was met with confusion by most of the paddock, but Hamilton knew that the move would be beneficial for his future.

The 2013 campaign was supposed to be one of building solid foundations at Mercedes. They firmly had their sights set on the turbo-hybrid era, which was due to get underway in 2014, as a target. That wouldn’t stop Hamilton from romping to victory in 2013, however.

Throughout that season, both Hamilton and teammate Nico Rosberg had managed to pick up several podiums finishes throughout the early part of the season. They had also picked up six pole positions between them throughout the first nine races but had been unable to convert one of them into a victory. That ended in Great Britain when Rosberg picked up the victory, and Hamilton would follow suit a month later.

The British driver would qualify on pole for the 2013 Hungarian Grand Prix and this time, he would make no mistake in converting the pole into victory. An early pit stops and his immediate overtake of Jenson Button were crucial to the victory as later in the race, Vettel would get stuck behind the McLaren for several laps, allowing Hamilton to extend his lead.

In the end, the closest man to Hamilton was Kimi Räikkönen, but even he finished a whopping ten seconds behind the Mercedes man.

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