By Daniel Wilson.
It’s fair to say Lewis Hamilton has had a tough start to the season, with his attempts to defend his world championship thwarted by poor starts and reliability issues.
However, the tide finally turned in his favour yesterday, as he took his first win of 2016 and brought himself back into the championship race.
And it happened at one of the Briton’s ‘bogey’ tracks – Monaco. Lewis hasn’t won around the famous streets since his first championship winning season in 2008. And Sunday’s race was almost a re-write of that first win.
Hamilton and Mercedes pulled off a one-stop strategy from full wet tyres to dry tyres to jump ahead of Red Bull’s Daniel Ricciardo – albeit thanks to a slow pit stop for the Australian because his team weren’t ready with his tyres.
From there, track position at Monaco proved as critical as always, and despite a fierce challenge from Ricciardo, Hamilton held on.
But it wasn’t just his victory that was significant. His title rival and championship leader Nico Rosberg struggled with brake problems and raw pace and could only manage seventh – meaning his lead that was 43 points has been almost halved to 24.
Of course, it remains to be seen what this will do for Lewis’ confidence heading into the rest of the season, but ending that drought of victories can only be used as a springboard to get back on level terms with his teammate.
However, those reliability problems mean Lewis will most likely have to take grid penalties towards the end of the season, and so his championship charge may yet be taken out of his hands.
But fingers crossed, with Hamilton winning again and Red Bull joining the party, this year’s title race is just about to get very tasty.