Remember when... Lewis Hamilton last missed a wet weather F1 win
In the run-up to the start of pre-season testing Motorsport Week brings you left-field reflections and stories of teams, drivers and reserves that will be part of the Formula 1 paddock in 2019.
Lewis Hamilton has been blessed with front-running machinery throughout Formula 1’s hybrid era but his record in races affected by wet weather during that time is exemplary.
He enters 2019 having not been beaten to the chequered flag in a rain-affected race since Daniel Ricciardo’s triumph in the wet/dry 2014 Hungarian Grand Prix. On that day Hamilton rose from a pit lane start to third, escaping unscathed after brushing the barriers on the first lap.
The run began with a triumph at the ill-fated rain-lashed race in Japan, in which he passed Mercedes team-mate Nico Rosberg around Turn 1, before the Grand Prix was halted by Jules Bianchi’s accident.
On home soil in 2015 Hamilton was being reeled in by Rosberg but perfected the call for Intermediate tyres just as drizzle intensified at Silverstone, and he ultimately stretched clear to secure the win. Another win followed in the United States on a damp-but-drying track – after Rosberg went wide on a slippery stretch of track through Turn 16.
In Monaco in 2016 Hamilton, who was waved through by struggling team-mate Rosberg, trailed leader Daniel Ricciardo but extended his stint on full Wets to grab the initiative when the Red Bull driver stopped for Intermediates. Ricciardo should still have won, but his stop for slicks was shambolic, allowing Hamilton to preserve the lead when he made his sole stop to discard the full Wets for slicks.
Hamilton won his home Grand Prix again – with the race starting behind the Safety Car following a heavy shower – and dominated a delayed and twice-suspended Brazilian Grand Prix that took place in continuous heavy rain.
Another win followed at the wet-but-drying Chinese Grand Prix in 2017 while in Singapore the pre-race shower proved influential as both Ferraris and Max Verstappen collided, with Hamilton rising from fifth to first in the blink of an eye.
In 2018 Hamilton swept from 14th on the grid to win in Germany, assisted by the mid-race shower that caught out title rival Sebastian Vettel. Hamilton also won in Abu Dhabi and it did (very briefly) rain during that race, albeit with minimal – if any – impact on the Grand Prix.
Can anyone beat Hamilton if the rain strikes a Grand Prix in 2019? Or will he turn it up to 11…