Lewis Hamilton’s Mercedes woes continue with puncture on opening lap

Lewis Hamilton's woes in 2022 looked as though they would continue in Barcelona following an opening lap puncture – but the seven-time world champion bounced back to secure a fifth-placed finish.

Mercedes have struggled with porpoising since the start of the season but found a breakthrough with their upgrade package for the Barcelona weekend, which helped to propel them into contention towards the front end of the grid.

Starting sixth on the grid, behind teammate George Russell, Hamilton was the only driver to start on medium tyres in a clear attempt to try and work up the grid later in the race, with the exceptional temperatures on the track testing tyre management.

However, his punt proved ineffective after an opening-lap collision with Haas driver Kevin Magnusson, which left the Danish driver in the gravel while Hamilton limped back to the pits.

Magnusson was furious with the incident, claiming on his team driver that Hamilton 'knew what he was doing' but the incident was cleared by the race directors, who declared it was a racing incident.

Having been forced into an early pit, Hamilton then took soft tyres to join the rest of the grid but had to prop up the back of the standings and suggested to his team over the radio that he should be retired in order to 'save the engine'.

The collision had left Hamilton with damage and the experienced Brit clearly felt there was no point continuing, although his team declared differently and informed him that they believed that a points finish was still achievable come the finale.

And the team was ultimately proved right, as Hamilton rallied to gain 15 places and move up to fourth, behind teammate George Russell. 

Hamilton was robbed of fourth when he was told to "lift and coast" due to reliability concerns in the closing laps, and Ferrari's Carlos Sainz overtook him..

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