Former F1 race winner turned broadcaster Johnny Herbert believes it could be difficult for Lewis Hamilton to maintain a record he has kept firm ever since entering Formula 1 in 2007.
Now in his 16th year in the sport, the seven-time World Champion has won at least one Grand Prix in every single season he has competed in.
However, with the Mercedes W13 proving to be quite uncompetitive at the start of the campaign, Herbert reckons the statistic could be challenging to maintain in 2022.
While Hamilton has already finished on the podium this season, the Silver Arrows' car is a clear step behind the Ferrari F1-75 and Red Bull RB18, and Hamilton, in particular, appears to be struggling to get to grips with it.
Last time out, at the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix, Hamilton could only manage 13th while teammate George Russell claimed fourth spot.
Herbert: Never rule out Mercedes
Asked about whether Hamilton can keep his record going this season, Herbert explained that it is going to come down to how well Mercedes respond to their current predicament.
"I think there is a chance," he told Sky Sports.
I've said before, there's a lot of work that needs to be done to get
themselves into a position where they can challenge the Ferrari and the
Red Bull that, at the moment, have the advantage because their car is
working very, very well.
"But you can never rule out Lewis, you can never rule out Mercedes because, I think as I said before, as they proved last year, they didn't have the best car in the beginning.
just worked away, not with upgrades strangely enough last year, it was
just tinkering with the set-up. That's where the driver becomes very
important as well.
"His feedback is something they've got to listen to, and then they've got to apply all their experiences together to get the best out of the car."
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Herbert: Hamilton will want to maintain the record
As a result, Herbert believes it could be several months before Mercedes can get themselves into a position to potentially challenge for a win.
"At the moment yes, they're on the back foot," he said.
"Can they do it? I think they can, but it's going to be in the
latter part of the season if that chance is going to be there for them,
but I think they will work very hard.
"Lewis, especially, will work very hard to keep that record going."
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