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Lewis Hamilton

How Lewis Hamilton should already be a 10-time World Champion

Lewis Hamilton may be a seven-time World Champion - but there are three 'lost' titles during his career that should have made him a 10-time champion.

Hamilton Brazil
Special
To news overview © XPBimages

The 2021 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix will forever be remembered for how the title was decided and the fact that Lewis Hamilton lost out on a record-breaking eighth World Championship.

But what if he should have already been a 10-time champion by the time of that night at Yas Marina?

That's right, forget Abu Dhabi. Through mechanical gremlins and a forgotten accident, Hamilton has lost out on three World Championships that would have rendered Abu Dhabi moot.

You could also maybe add 2012 to the list below as McLaren had the fastest car, but repeated operational and reliability failures cost Hamilton a shot at challenging Sebastian Vettel and Fernando Alonso in his final year before moving to Mercedes for 2013.

2007

Hamilton set out his stall quite early in his F1 career, by dancing the McLaren around the outside of Alonso at Turn 1 in his first race in Australia. Nothing quite like telling the World Champion what you think of the #1 sticker on his car.

Tensions bubbled away between the two all season, with the infamous Hungarian GP qualifying a flashpoint that had been brewing since Monaco when Hamilton was effectively told to hold position behind Alonso - multi-12, if you like.

Come the penultimate race of the year - McLaren had been fined $100 million for Spygate and chucked out the Constructors', but with a three-way title battle brewing, good cop Bernie Ecclestone managed to convince bad cop Max Mosley not to boot Hamilton or Alonso out of the Drivers'.

Heading to China, Hamilton had 107 points, Alonso 95 and Kimi Raikkonen 90. These were the days of 10 points for a win, so Raikkonen had a 17 point gap to make up with just 20 left on the board.

All Hamilton had to do was finish within one point of Alonso and six of Raikkonen to win the title.

But McLaren, engaging in open warfare against Alonso - their own driver - kept Hamilton out on worn intermediates so much so that he skated into a gravel trap when finally pitting as Raikkonen won.

That meant the standings were Hamilton 107, Alonso 103 and Raikkonen 100 heading to Brazil.

Hamilton was forced wide at Turn 4 on the opening lap, before gearbox gremlins dropped him well down the field and forced him into a recovery drive, but tyre degradation was high.

He needed fifth to win the title if Raikkonen won, but could only manage a lapped seventh as Raikkonen fortuitously jumped team-mate Felipe Massa in the final pit-stops...

Raikkonen emerged victor by a point, with Hamilton since hinting that he now knows what exactly went on behind-the-scenes, politically, but that he cannot talk about it as his hopes of being a rookie World Champion imploded.

			© xpb.cc
	© xpb.cc

2010

This is something of a forgotten lost championship for Hamilton - but stems from his DNF with two laps to go in the Spanish Grand Prix.

Running second behind Mark Webber, Hamilton suffered a tyre rim failure that pitched him into the Turn 3 barrier, costing him 18 points, and handing three more each to Vettel and Alonso.

Come the final standings after the four-way shootout in Abu Dhabi, as the tables below show, Hamilton finished on 240 points, 16 behind champion Vettel.

If those lost 18 points are added, and Vettel loses the three bonus he got in Barcelona, Hamilton wins the title by five points.

Had 2007 also gone his way, victory in 2010 would have been his third title from four years in F1.

Actual 2010 F1 standings

Driver Position Points
Sebastian Vettel 1st 256
Fernando Alonso 2nd 252
Mark Webber 3rd 242
Lewis Hamilton 4th 240

If Hamilton finishes second at the Spanish GP

Driver Position Points Points change
Lewis Hamilton 1st 258 +18
Sebastian Vettel 2nd 253 -3
Fernando Alonso 3rd 249 -3
Mark Webber 4th 242 0

2016

Most of the talk about losing the 2016 title came from the engine failure Hamilton suffered while leading in Malaysia - one of a spate he suffered that year.

But, that is not what cost him. Fluffing his starts on multiple occasions from pole position did.

In Australia, Bahrain, Spain and Italy, he started on pole, and failed to win any of them - famously crashing out in Spain with team-mate Nico Rosberg.

In Melbourne and at Monza, Hamilton finished second to Rosberg, with a swing of 14 points apiece while he could only manage third in Bahrain, a 20-point swing to Rosberg.

The then-annual funk weekend in Azerbaijan also cost him a 30-point swing as Rosberg won while engine setting troubles meant Hamilton could only manage fifth.

In the end, Rosberg would win the title by just five points - and then promptly did the biggest mic drop of all-time by walking away and retiring, ensuring Hamilton could never take the title back off him.

			© Morio
	© Morio

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