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Lewis Hamilton suffered the ignominy of being lapped by rival Max Verstappen, as his troubles at the start of the Formula One season continued.
Hamilton has been used to at least competing for the F1 drivers' championship for the past eight seasons in-a-row, only losing it on two occasions in that time.
However this year it's been a rather new experience for him, or at least one he's not had since 2009, with Mercedes struggling with the new regulations.
This weekend at the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix has been particularly galling for the seven time world champion, as he finished qualifying for the sprint race in 13th and then ended up one place further back in that sprint.
In Sunday's race things got even worse, as he had struggled to get past his midfield competitors and then found himself lapped by race leader Verstappen, seeing the blue flags waved to get the Mercedes driver out of the way.
🗣️"Ouch, that is going to hurt"— Sky Sports News (@SkySportsNews) April 24, 2022
Max Verstappen laps Lewis Hamilton in Imola 👇pic.twitter.com/CBtYhGSGvu
Max Verstappen has just lapped Lewis Hamilton.— ESPN F1 (@ESPNF1) April 24, 2022
How times have changed... pic.twitter.com/wr9VuJ9xyx
TEARS HAMILTON IS ABOUT TO BE LAPPED BY MAX 😭😭😭😭😭— Moe (@forzzacule) April 24, 2022
How it feels watching Hamilton get lapped by Verstappen pic.twitter.com/1r99VNUQkN— XL Tom (@TomLeese) April 24, 2022
hamilton getting lapped tho pic.twitter.com/qotaB6pwks— h a r r i e t ♡ (@_harrietxshanks) April 24, 2022
The pair had got used to battling each other at the front of the grid last season, in one of the most intense title fights in the history of the sport.
At the same circuit last year the two men even finished first and second, with Verstappen getting the win despite starting the race in third.
However this time round the Imola circuit, Hamilton had to watch his enemy casually drive around him with around 20 laps to go and disappear into the distance, whilst claiming his second race win of the season.
It was a bit of a strange race in Italy, not too far from Ferrari's home in Monza, as the race started following lots of rain in the area, with all the drivers on intermediate tyres.
As the track began to dry there was still no sign of the race director allowing the DRS system, that helps make overtaking easier, and that made things less exciting.
Hamilton's problems were made harder by a lack of DRS but it was mainly down to his choice in delaying changing on to slick tyres.
He was also impacted by a collision with Esteban Ocon, as the pair came out of the pits, with the Alpine driver actually getting ahead of the Mercedes man but later getting a five second penalty.
The 37-year-old then struggled to get past Pierre Gasly ahead of him, as a train of drivers were all close to each other, meaning everyone got DRS and negated its impact.
To make matters worse for the former world champion, his less experienced teammate George Russell ended up finishing fourth place, thanks to Charles Leclerc's late crash.
Featured Image Credit: Sky Sports
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