The new Formula One season is rapidly approaching, and following Nico Rosberg’s retirement in November, Lewis Hamilton could be set to dominate. But we reckon that’s not necessarily a good thing for the Brit.
Valtteri Bottas has moved to fill Rosberg’s vacated seat, but the Finn faces a tall order if he’s to get the better of the three-time world champion.
But for the third year in succession, Hamilton goes into the season as odds-on favourite.
And while a fourth world crown would see the former McLaren ace join a very elite group – only Sebastian Vettel, Michael Schumacher, Alain Prost and Juan Manuel Fangio have achieved the feat – it’s unlikely to enhance his reputation.
Granted, his standing can’t get much higher, but simply put, winning the championship is the least Hamilton should achieve this term.
It’s highly unlikely Bottas will be able to trouble Hamilton in the way Rosberg did – particularly in the opening half of the campaign as he adjusts to a new team and a new car.
That then, will remove the sole obstacle to Lewis in the last three seasons – the guy in the other Mercedes.
Pre-season testing has shown the new W08 to be right on the pace once again, and if Ferrari and Red Bull can’t raise a challenge this season, Lewis is staring at an open goal.
But while he loves winning – having claimed 53 Grand Prix already – Lewis also loves competition.
If that isn’t there this season, then where is the enjoyment?
Hamilton needs someone to push him as Rosberg did, to keep him on his toes. He needs a rival or two to make this year’s championship worth winning.
It’s up to Bottas, Ferrari and Red Bull to ensure that’s the case. But if they fail, there is nothing to be gained this season for Lewis Hamilton bar another statisic on his CV.
Win the title and Hamilton will have merely done what was expected. Fail to win it and his season will be viewed as a major disappointment.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing