Lewis Hamilton's record of winning a race in every season since his debut in 2007 is in danger of coming to an end as we go into the final two races of the 2022 season. Ferrari team principal Mattia Binotto has blamed Mercedes for ruining the Briton's chances of claiming wins in the United States and Mexico with strategy errors.

Red Bull Racing have blown away the competition in 2022, winning 16 of the 20 races thus far, of which Max Verstappen has won 14. Ferrari were their closest competitors, but were unable to mount a sustained challenge owing to reliability and strategy errors during the course of the campaign.

Mercedes, on the other hand, have been playing catch up from the start of the season. The Silver Arrows team have slowly but surely closed the gap to the front, but are still struggling to fight for the top step of the podium owing to Red Bull's superiority over the rest of the grid.

Max Verstappen
Max Verstappen (left) celebrates his second world championship with Red Bull engineers and pit crew at Suzuka AFP / Toshifumi KITAMURA

However, the Mercedes cars looked up to speed at both the recent races in the United States and Mexico. In Austin, Hamilton had the opportunity to record his first win and was leading with five laps remaining. But, it was not to be as they had no answer to the pace of Red Bull and Verstappen in the closing stages.

Hamilton settled for second in both races, but Ferrari team principal Binotto feels the outcome would have been different if Mercedes had opted for a different tyre strategy. The Italian team has been criticised for ruining their drivers' races with the wrong calls this season, which has seen Binotto ironically pointing to their rivals.

"Mercedes maybe have lost the last race as well by not choosing the right tyres in Austin. So I think it's not only down to us somehow to make different choices or making mistakes," Binotto told Race Fans.

The Silver Arrows did not have a fresh set of the quicker medium tyres for the second stint in Austin, and were forced to use the hard compound. Verstappen, meanwhile, had a fresh set of mediums, which allowed him to close the gap on Hamilton and overtake him with five laps remaining.

It was a similar story in Mexico, as Mercedes chose the medium-hard race strategy, while Red Bull chose the quicker soft-medium one-stop strategy. Verstappen easily pulled away from Hamilton to record a comfortable win despite the Mercedes showing genuine pace at the high altitude circuit.

Hamilton now has two races - Brazil and Abu Dhabi - to maintain his win record. The British racer remains confident about Mercedes' chances, but he will have to beat stronger cars and drivers or hope for misfortune to befall their cars to have a chance to stand on the top step of the podium.

Lewis Hamilton
British Formula One driver Lewis Hamilton was named as an investor in the new ownership group of the NFL's Denver Broncos AFP / CHRISTOPHE SIMON