Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, Yas Marina, 2018

Hamilton ‘barely made a mistake’ in 2018 – Wolff

2018 F1 season

Posted on

| Written by and

Lewis Hamilton was almost error-free in 2018 but is still looking for ways he can improve, according to Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff.

Speaking at today’s FIA Gala, Wolff said it was “difficult” to isolate which was the most impressive aspect of Hamilton’s fifth championship-winning campaign.

“Overall, all of us that contribute to the team’s success need to do better tomorrow than today,” said Wolff. “And he as a driver and as a human being has developed ever single year I’ve been working with him. We have barely seen mistakes this year.”

However Hamilton is still looking for areas he can raise his game. “We’ve discussed it on the plane yesterday,” said Wolff, “he’s one of very few drivers that is capable to say ‘no it was exactly that’ but he said ‘no I wasn’t good here, I wasn’t good here…'”

If Mercedes are as competitive in the next two seasons as they have been in the last five, Hamilton will have the chance to equal Michael Schumacher’s records of seven world championship titles and 91 wins. Wolff says he “hopes” he can.

“We have another two years without a contract until the end of 2020. So there’s potentially two more championships to go. It would be great If he can achieve that. And I means we are in a good position.

“But the points go back to zero at the start every single year. The challenge is going to be bigger than it was this year. So we’re in good spirits that we can achieve it but I can tell you that Ferrari and Red Bull and all the other guys are trying everything to stop us.”

Advert | Become a RaceFans supporter and go ad-free

2019 F1 season

Browse all 2019 F1 season articles

Author information

Dieter Rencken
Dieter Rencken has held full FIA Formula 1 media accreditation since 2000, during which period he has reported from over 300 grands prix, plus...
Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

Got a potential story, tip or enquiry? Find out more about RaceFans and contact us here.

Posted on Categories 2018 F1 season, F1 newsTags , , , ,

Promoted content from around the web | Become a RaceFans Supporter to hide this ad and others

  • 25 comments on “Hamilton ‘barely made a mistake’ in 2018 – Wolff”

    1. So what was the race start at Silverstone or riding kerbs in Hockenheim during qualifying?

      1. Those probably fall into the ‘barely’ bit @Chaitanya, wouldn’t you think? Hate to think by how much Hamilton would have won had he started Hockenheim already at the front!

        1. Yes you are right tiny blips compared to excellent long game played by Hamilton. Overall this year Mercedes team fumbled more with bad strategy calls than how well their drivers(Bottas also had his moments-Baku, China, Russia and Austria) performed behind the wheels of the car.
          That Hockenheim Q2 failure certainly was a catalyst for Hamilton in securing the racewin, Long stint on harder rubber combined with being on softer rubber at right moment of rain. That might have been the luckiest win of all 2018.

          1. Germany was won through “luck”.He was put at a disadvantage by a mechanical failure in Quali, started P14. He mastered the tricky conditions better than Vettel, kept his car on track and was astute enough to override Merc’s pitwall’s call to pit.

            1. EDIT: *Germany was NOT won through “luck”

            2. was astute enough to override Merc’s pitwall’s call to pit.

              Mercedes told him to stay out and to come in within the space of a few seconds, I don’t think any of them really had a clue what to do, him included – the videos are all slightly out of sync with the radio message I believe, when the team said ‘no stay out’, he started trying to cut back to the track but then they said ‘in in in’ when it was too late. The rest is all correct though.

            3. @hugh11

              Hamilton deserves some credit for initially questioning the call to pit on lap 52. Instead of blindly following the initial call, he questioned what Kimi was doing.

              I saw an intereview (can’t remember where)- Toto confirms Hamilton played a part in the decision not to pit

      2. The Hockenheim kerb riding issue was effect, not cause, of his issues.

        1. Exactly, though there’s no telling the haters.

      3. If this is how far you have to stretch to say he was not faultless it kinda proves he was. When you look at the mistakes that every other driver has made it’s almost comical to point to such minor instances to say “look look Hamilton wasn’t perfect”. The drivers know how minuscule the difference is between going off and not, between clipping a curb or bogging a start or sliding off on a wet track which is why Hamilton often defended Vettel when he received so much criticism. Wish such minuscule margins to say that Hamilton wasn’t great this year is simply just denial. He won 11 races and obviously that requires driving on the edge quite a bit .

    2. ”We have another two years without a contract until the end of 2020.”
      – I think you mean two years left in the contract.

      1. joe pineapples
        8th December 2018, 14:07

        [Toto] “I means” that ;)

    3. Ah, Mercedes! Constantly battling disaster, madness, difficulties, set-backs and unknowns. And yet somehow winning 10 championships on the trot.
      It must’ve all been down to the magic of one very special driver. Nico Rosberg :-)

      1. I know you’re being sarcastic, but Rosberg’s contributions shouldn’t be overlooked. He was with the team from 2010-2012, and they won exactly one race in that time– but they were certainly laying the groundwork for the juggernaut that was the 2014 F1 W05 Hybrid.

        Rosberg, Schumacher, and Brawn all contributed to the development of the 2014 car.

        Small wonder Rosberg felt aggrieved when Hamilton showed up and “stole” Rosberg’s championship.

        Mercedes has earned those championships by building the best overall car, having some of the best drivers on the grid, and by having (mostly) solid strategy each race weekend.

        Doesn’t mean it was easy, though.

        1. Rosberg’ contribution to Mercedes success ended at the end of 2016.

          “Small wonder Rosberg felt aggrieved when Hamilton showed up and “stole” Rosberg’s championship.”

          If Ross and the Mercedes board felt he was the man to lead that team, they wouldn’t have pursued Hamilton’ signature so aggressively.

          1. Well, ROS did beat HAM for a WDC and pressure him over the years a lot more than VET has done.

            1. What does that have to do with what I wrote?

        2. @grat Abd Hamilton showed up in 2013 and beat Nico straight away.

    4. It’s true, he barely made any mistakes in 2018. But what Lewis did have, just like any other year, is weekends where he is fully off the pace. He didn’t stand a chance in Bahrain, China and Canada to Bottas… And that’s Bottas we’re talking about, not Max, Fernando or Seb. Those “off-the-pace-weekends” don’t happen to the 3 drivers I just named, but on the other hand they make mistakes and Lewis barely doens’t.
      If next year Mercedes, Ferrari and Red Bull are as competitive as they seem to be, Lewis can’t afford these weekends, just like the others con’t afford their mistakes. 2019 is gonna be awesome!

      1. He didn’t stand a chance in Bahrain, China and Canada to Bottas

        Utter tosh. He had 2 mechanical issues in Canada (Q3 and Race) and a gearbox grid penalty in Bahrain. The only one of those 3 races where he was genuinely off Bottas’s pace was China, and even then it wasn’t by much.

      2. Hamilton only had 1 off-pace weekend (China).
        (Canada & Bahrain he had technical issues)

        Vettel was off-pace in Australia. Outpaced by Kimi nearly the entire weekend (and this is Kimi we are talking about, not Max, Fernando or Lewis).

        Alonso was lacklustre /off pace in France. Vandorne looked quicker in the race

        Max? I haven’t checked but he spent nearly the entire first half of the season crashing.

        Pretty sure every driver on the grid had the odd “off-pace” weekend.

      3. If they were never off the pace then why didn’t they win more races? Or maybe Hamilton knows when to push and when not to push and the others don’t? If you combine the time that Bottas finished ahead of Hamilton in the 3 races you listed the gap is still not even close to what what Hamilton beat Bottas in just THE FIRST RACE OF THE SEASON! And if you look at the gap to the leader the times he was “off the pace” it’s still not even close to the gaps that all the drivers you seem to rate higher had many times over the season . Max was beaten by DR, Vettel was beaten by Kimi. These are professional racecar drivers. They are all very good at what they do. . F1 is a marathon, not a sprint. Let’s be honest, if it was a sprint Hamilton would also be fastest as he is clearly the fastest over a lap and based on the past 2 years it’s impossible to deny that he is also the best at running the long game. Sure. He didn’t have the fastest pace every weekend. He also did not have the fastest car for about 1/2 the races.

    5. Well, ROS did beat HAM for a WDC and pressure him over the years a lot more than VET has d.

      1. Rosberg got lucky with Hamilton’s car having lots of mechanical problems

      2. 9 mechanical failures to 1 in a dominant will never be considered a well earned WDC sorry.

        And Rosberg knows it too, hence why he ran scared.

    Comments are closed.