Lewis Hamilton has gone from being right in the Driver’s Championship shake-up to completely out of the reckoning in the space of a few races.
Having started the season with a hat-trick of podiums and taking three checkered flags around the midway point, he now finds himself scrabbling around for top-10 finishes and way off the championship pace in fifth. He’s out of the betting picture for this year’s crown, while he’s long-odds at 14/1 to win it next season.
His downturn in form can be attributed in no small part to his decision to turn his back on the team he’s enjoyed so much success with throughout his career – McLaren – to sign a mega-bucks deal with the massively inferior Mercedes outfit, which he will represent as of next season.
As big as the price is for him to claim the title in 2013 appears, it could be doubled, even trebled, and still not worth a pound, with the German manufactures leagues behind their rivals in the production stakes.
Yet, this didn’t stop Hamilton snapping their hand off when they dangled a £60m contract out in front of him despite the fact he might not win a single Grand Prix next term.
The reasons he cited for his decision to transfer were far from steadfast – some rhubarb about McLaren testing new parts without his knowledge – and even teammate Jenson Button has spoke out about what a poor decision Hamilton’s making.
His decline in form has come about in the immediate aftermath of announcing he would be leaving McLaren and it would seem he is more focussed on what he’s going to spend his money on as opposed to going out on a high with his current team.
Perhaps it is a little too easy to pin Hamilton’s downturn in form on him going through the motions after announcing the McLaren split. It could be argued that the British-based team haven’t produced a car this season that is capable of challenging that of Ferrari and Red Bull.
Alike their top-driver, McLaren are out of the running in the Constructors Championship, and Button has hardly set the world ablaze with his recent performances.
With two wins and three second-place finishes this season, there leaves a lot to be desired from Hamilton’s compatriot, and he hasn’t accepted any lucrative contracts elsewhere. There was a lot of issues with the gearbox in the build up to the Indian GP, and such technical aspects may have played a big part in recent weeks.
However, it’s difficult to ignore the fact that, since his decision to leave was made public, Hamilton has managed to finish fourth, fifth and 10th in four races following a retirement in Singapore and, with just three races remaining, he’s on course to record his worst ever points tally in Formula One for three seasons.
All odds and markets accurate as of publication’s time and date