Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, Monaco, 2019

Hamilton says his performance has been “average” so far this year

2019 Monaco Grand Prix

Posted on

| Written by and

Lewis Hamilton described his performances over the opening races of the season as “average”, despite holding a 17-point lead in the drivers’ championship over the team mate.

Speaking after his victory in yesterday’s Monaco Grand Prix Hamilton said he still isn’t fully comfortable and delivering his best.

“I definitely feel that it’s been quite an average performance from myself,” he said. “Maybe above average but generally quite average for the first six races.

“I feel like I’ve got the best I could get. I’ve arrived prepared – the best prepared I could be – but in terms of extracting the true performance from the car, I feel like I’ve struggled a little bit in these six races.”

Hamilton has scored four wins and two seconds places over the opening six rounds. But he expects to perform better as he grows more familiar with the W10.

“I guess it’s kind of similar to other seasons but without doubt it’s going to improve as the knowledge you gain over the season race by race, particularly with the tyres this year, where the window is even smaller, I do anticipate things will get better. As it will be for all of us.

“I hope, at some stage, that I’m able to crack the issues that I’ve had and get back to the form that I have within me. Whether that’s the next race or ten races from now, I can’t really say but I am very, very focused on making sure I rectify any of those.”

Advert | Become a RaceFans supporter and go ad-free

2019 F1 season

Browse all 2019 F1 season articles

77 comments on “Hamilton says his performance has been “average” so far this year”

  1. Interesting.

  2. Mind games… Hey wants every competitor to believe he could be a lot faster. “Even when I’m not at my best I beat you..”.

    I wonder if any of them believe him. I don’t.

    1. DAllein (@)
      27th May 2019, 8:58

      No mind games.
      We knew since Winter Tests he is not comfortable with the car.

      If you don’t believe, ok, but don’t be surprised at the end of the year.

      1. @dallein A mixture of both I think. He started the season welcoming Bottas’s new mindset. That made sense, both because it was genuine respect I think, and because it would help against the expected Ferrari dominance. Now that he knows Bottas will probably be his main rival this season – and even if Ferrari make a comeback, Vettel is looking unimproved from the last two years, and Leclerc increasingly error prone – it seems to me that he’s starting to apply subtle areas of pressure as he tries to reel in Bottas’s qualifying (one lap) speed. That started with improving his race starts. He said he’d improve and then went and did it. Notably Bottas has started complaining about something wrong with his own. First sign that Hamilton had got to him slightly. Then in qualifying at Monaco he made sure he let Bottas know he was thrilled to beat him to pole, celebrating first fairly wildly then going to speak to him. Hamilton’s doing the right thing, obviously. He knows how team rivalries work. At the same time he is trying to adjust to a car Bottas is clearly more comfortable with still.

        1. Very good assessment on the dynamics between then!

    2. Pole positions this year:

      Bottas: 3
      Hamilton: 2

      For someone who prides himself on and has built a reputation for 1 lap pace, it’s pretty understandable why he’s not completely happy with his overall performance.

      1. @ninjenius

        With Verstappen snapping at his heels in a slower less reliable car, he’s not going to be happy.

        1. Jean-Christophe
          27th May 2019, 20:29

          Snapping at his heels? Really? Monaco was the first race Verstappen managed to get that close to a Mercedes. And that was only due to Lewis’ being on the wrong tyres.

          1. No, you are wrong Jean Christope, it was because the speed differences in Monaco are very very small. Verstappen was much faster then Lewis, but because it’s Monaco, you can’t overtake. He still drives a Mercedes with some incredible traction and acceleration.

          2. Jean-Christophe
            28th May 2019, 1:07

            Ji, Lewis had to go much slower to preserve his tyres. That’s the only reason why Verstappen was that close. If they’d pitted later or had put on the hards, there was no way Ver would have been able to challenge him. Lewis would have cruised to victory.

    3. @W0o0dy

      ‘I don’t’, don’t what? believe in the silly narrative you came up with? And wondering if anyone else believes?
      Who cares!

    4. lmao

      Lewis is hilarious. This season Bottas is making Lewis look like an average driver. Lewis still whining and crying over the boardradio. It’s only because of his overpowered Mercedes and an average teammate, he still leads the championship.

      It’s time for Mercedes to get Verstappen next to Lewis. IMHO he would be crying and whining all year. Verstappen would make Lewis look very weak.

      1. I don’t know how good you follow f1; but all drivers whine.
        Adrenaline rushing trough your vaines. It’s a normal thing.

        Vettel does it, Verstappen does it.. It’s normal!
        Believe me drivers of the pre radio broadcasted area would whine as well.

        Lewis just says what he feels, his average is just pretty high!
        If he hits the sweet spot he will dominate this year once more. His strong circuits are yet to come!

      2. @JI
        Here comes Maxi f@nboy.
        Hilarious, indeed.

        1. Awhh feeling hurt?

  3. Only 14 wins behind Schumi. Yes yes, people can comment about the Mercedes dominance, but still, I don’t think many thought another driver would even come close to the 91, nevermind surpass it. Looking ever more likely now…

    1. And its going to be quite a few years before a third joins the party. Assuming Seb and Kimi will retire around the time Lewis does; the next in line are Dan, Max and Valtteri who have just 7, 5 and 5 wins respectively. So another decade before anyone can even come close?

      1. @riptide I don’t want people to come close. It just means domination by one team and one driver.

      2. @riptide

        Driver records are pointless when they are thanks to engineering and you have the two best drivers of all time having their careers ended early.

        1. People will stop at nothing to diminish Hamilton. Schumacher did not have his career ended early. He quit. Then he cane back and was nothing special against modern competition. His story makes Hamilton look even better. Hamilton has the best cars because he has been regarded as the best for 12 years and has sustained that reputation the whole time.

          1. I spent the first five years of Hamilton’s F1 career being told on the forums that ‘ statistics/records don’t lie!’ when I championed Hamilton.
            Iv’e spent the last five years of his career being told by the same posters that those very statistics and records they championed in the past now don’t matter.

          2. To be fair, though, you can’t consider Schumacher’s stint at Mercedes to be indicative. He clearly was a much paler version of his true self.
            In his prime, Michael joined Ferrari in one of the darker eras of its history, managing to win races no one else could have won; fighting for championships in much slower machines.
            No one of his teammates ever came close to match his performances, but for one or two races per year.
            That’s what built Schumacher’s reputation: he has been (rightly) perceived as untouchable.
            Hamilton, which I respect a lot, is for sure the best driver of today; but doesn’t give the same impression.
            Button, Rosberg and now Bottas could match his performances quite often.
            Lewis gives his best under pressure and his solid performances throughout the season make him a tough opponent to beat, but, as far as pure driving is concerned, he is no Michael Schumacher.

  4. Having stuck the knife in, Lewis is twisting it. You can certain he won’t be half as pleasant behind the closed doors at Mercedes, when he wants answers as to why he was given the worse tyre yesterday.

    1. DAllein (@)
      27th May 2019, 9:25

      I think you have really wrong impression of Lewis.
      Check this – https://twitter.com/MercedesAMGF1/status/1132718457072623618

      1. mcjamweasel
        27th May 2019, 9:54

        Don’t confuse a sportsman having fun while celebrating a win with an an intense competitor asking the hard questions and pushing relentlessly for improvement in the debrief and back at the factory.

    2. He won the race. It’ll mitigate any hard feelings.

      My personal opinion is that Toto Wolff’s attitude (and therefore the attitude at the rest of the team) tends to be more along the lines of “how do we not screw this up again?” instead of “who do we blame?”.

      Ferrari seems intent on fixing the blame, while Mercedes fixes the problem.

  5. True, his performances are average. It’s just that his average is so extremely high.

    1. and that should worry bottas.

    2. @matthijs
      Couldn’t have said it better!

    3. @matthijs

      His average in a superior car you mean. He would have no chance against Verstappen, if he’s not 100%. We’ve already seen it with Verstappen beating him in slower cars. People seem happy to forget Lewis had a 6 year title drought.

      1. Hamilton is very lucky that he ended in the dominant team but I think there are plenty of examples to show that it’s not just the car that’s great but also the driver.

      2. @SloJo
        If people are happy to forget that Lewis had a 6 year F1 Championship drought, you must also be happy forgetting that Verstappen has had a 21 year F1 Championship drought.

        In fact, looking back at the last time Verstappen won ANY championship at all was back in 2013 when he won a karting championship. Oh wait… that’s 6 years ago…

      3. And you seem to forget Verstappen hasn’t one pole yet, despite chances to do so. Putting all the elements together isn’t so simple. His failed lunge on Hamilton at the end of the Monaco GP wasn’t something Hamilton would have ever done. Max is a brilliant driver, but whether he’s actually faster than Hamilton or better in the rain (car control) is questionable, and certainly his judgement of racing situations and space, even from the outset of their careers, isn’t the same. Hamilton has better overall awareness of the car and surrounding spaces, I think. Max is superb at judging racing lines and maintaining speed, and also an astute racer, but he began by relying too much on intimidation to get past. He’s clearly learning to take less risks and pass more cleanly but it’s still a work in progress.

      4. @SloJo Max couldn’t even beat RIC – being defeated in 2 out of 3 seasons. He has thrown race victories away through avoidable incidents and is crash prone. He has failed to grab pole positions when RIC managed who lacks Verstappen’s one lap pace. Hardly Hamilton beating performances methinks. If only Max’s hype matched his actual abilities and results.

        1. Check the statistics for last year. He beat Ricciardo so bad that Ricciardo decided to leave before people started questiong his talents.

          Yes Max had to learn (the hard way) that F1 is not like karting or F3. And he did. Since Monaco last year he makes less mistakes than pretty much everyone bar Hamilton.
          And I have no doubt he would be faster than Hamilton in the samen cat. But Hamilton would be a tough nut to crack nonetheless. I’d love to see those two as teammates. But I don’t believe Lewis would agree to such a deal.

          1. LOL. There’s no statistic that states “he beat Ricciardo so bad that Ricciardo decided to leave before people started questiong his talents.”

            “Since Monaco last year he makes less mistakes than pretty much everyone bar Hamilton.” – double LOL

            “I’d love to see those two as teammates. But I don’t believe Lewis would agree to such a deal.” – Keep telling that to yourself.

            He got dominated by RIC and would highly probably lose out against VET and HAM too.
            This is the first year he dominates a teammate.

          2. Yes, let’s look at the statistics for 2018.

            First, Ricciardo had 8 DNF’s to Verstappen’s 3.

            Let’s correct for that, and average out their points per race (249 / 18 and 170 / 13), and I think you’ll find they’re just about even on points scored (13.8 vs 13.1) per race.

            Ricciardo had 2 poles, 2 wins and 4 fast laps, and Verstappen had 0 poles, 2 wins and 2 fast laps.

            That’s not exactly crushing.

            And of course, using a meaningless statistic, Ricciardo outscored Verstappen over a 3 year period 626 to 621, with 5 more DNF’s in 2018 that cost him around 70 points.

        2. Could not even beat ricci??
          He totally crushed him.

          1. No he didn’t. 3 seasons. RIC won 2, VER 1. What don’t you understand?

      5. Jean-Christophe
        27th May 2019, 20:36

        There’s something you guys need to explain to me. When Lewis wins, even though he’s beaten everyone in the rain since 2014, it’s thanks to the car. Yet when the likes of Verstappen don’t beat him, it’s because their car is not good enough. But you can tell with certainty that Verstappen is faster. On what are you basing your theory?

      6. Honestly, Verstappen still need to prove he could beat a teammate in the same conditions.
        Stop pumping the guy up.

  6. He doesn’t have any credible opposition that can consistently beat him. This will be the easier world championship he’s ever won.

    1. Bottas is pretty close, @emu55.
      Still not convinced Bottas can keep it up the whole season though.

    2. @emu55 I think it’s pretty clear that 2015 was the easiest championship he won, the competition was far away, and his teammate had a lot of races where he couldn’t really compete either.

    3. @emu55 Not sure if it’s what you meant, but that is actually the definition for who is considered to the the best.

  7. DAllein (@)
    27th May 2019, 9:18

    Go, Lewis, Go!

  8. Panagiotis Papatheodorou (@panagiotism-papatheodorou)
    27th May 2019, 9:49

    The only drivers that can challenge Lewis are Vettel (in his prime) and Max. Both of them don’t have cars to do so. The title is already won.

    1. @panagiotism-papatheodorou

      Vettel wiped the floor with Lewis in his prime. It wasn’t much of a challenge.

      1. Christ. Your comments are following a rather predictable anti-Hamilton bile.

      2. The only time Hamilton and Vettel have been in comparable level cars, 2016 and 2017, Hamilton has won both times. And in big part because of Vettel’s mistakes. There’s not much to argue, I’m afraid.

        1. *2017 and 2018

          1. NeverElectric
            27th May 2019, 18:51

            Weren’t Hamilton and Vettel in exactly the same car in the 2005 Euro f3 series?
            How did that end? Why don’t you go find out?

          2. Do you want to check how fast they were in tricycles too?

        2. Panagiotis Papatheodorou (@panagiotism-papatheodorou)
          27th May 2019, 21:19

          2017 was decided by reliability. Vettel has two issues in two consecutive races which cost him more than 35 points.

      3. @Slojo

        Let’s be honest.. the only time we’ve seen Hamilton and Vettel in equal cars was in 2018. Hamilton destroyed him by 86 points. That’s like wiping the floor, wall and ceilings with Vettel.

        1. Actually 2010 and 2012 they had comparable cars, Vettel won out there, specifically 2010 where Hamilton crashed later in the season and took himself out of realistic title contention. 2012 was more down to mclaren screwing up constantly, i actually still think 2012 was Hamilton’s best season performance wise, but he still lost nonetheless.

          1. @ Walt

            No, they didn’t have comparable cars in 2010. According to Adrian Newey, the 2010 RB had a large advantage over the rest of the field, but the drivers failed to extract the maximum from it. Newey stated that RB made too many mistakes, and that allowed Hamilton & Alonso, in lesser cars to challenge for the title. Plus Vettel made more mistakes than Hamilton in 2010.

            On here , Keith Collantine pulled some stats that showed the McLaren was only the 3rd fastest car in 2010, yet Hamilton was able to stay in the title race until the decider in Abu Dhabi. The McLaren was also less reliable than the Ferrari.

        2. F1oSaurus (@)
          27th May 2019, 20:50

          @todfod Over 2018 Vettel actually had the faster car. It’s just that Vettel blundered away 7 races which made it look like the car was poor. Vettel could/should have won AZE, AUT, GER, ITA, USA. His blunders also cost a lot of points in FRA and JPN. Plus HUN and SIN he was poor in Q3.

          In 2017 they had equal cars (on average). Although then also Vettel blundered away his chances. Probably just Singapore and Baku were enough.

      4. @SloJo
        Holy cow, get a life, good boy.
        Spitting so much h@te doesn’t do any good.

    2. Max and vettel are at the same level they are the too most overhyped drivers in f1. Lewis would rape and pillage both of them in the same team

      1. May be lewis think different as he doesn’t want Max as Teammate.

  9. Ben Rowe (@thegianthogweed)
    27th May 2019, 9:56

    If Leclerc hadn’t retired in Bahrain which did give Hamilton a fair few extra points, Even if Bottas finished 3rd that race, Bottas would be 1 point closer to him. Then give Bottas another 3 points for ysterdays race as he should have been 2nd without Verstappen giving him a puncture. He would then be 14 points off Hamilton. Given how good Hamilton is and that they would have been almost always getting 1 – 2 results (a big points difference between the 2 positions) – it is understandable that he thinks he hasn’t done great. Bottas is not far off his performance at all this season so far and the points are close if Bottas manages to beat him a couple more times. Canada looked good for him last year and Austria too. And his qualifying pace is equal if not a bit better than Hamilton overall this season.

    1. F1oSaurus (@)
      27th May 2019, 20:51

      You are such a hoot.

      It’s amazing how Bottas is always “better”, but in reality he somehow just isn’t getting the results.

  10. Imagine Verstappen driving the much quicker Mercedes. Bottas is over-rated.

    1. Verstappen needs to beat someone credible first- RIC left with the better record as RBR team mates. 2-1.

      1. Strange reality distortion factor. Ricci was crushed, less points, less wins, less qualys and a big difference in qualy times..
        The only reason ricci went for a lesser xar: with Max there wad no chance to become wdc.
        Al lot of money softens the lesser xar :)

        1. 2-1. Suck it up erik

        2. F1oSaurus (@)
          27th May 2019, 20:57

          Verstappen only started “crushing” Ricciardo after it was known that Ricciardo was leaving for Renault.

      2. grtz for the most ignorant comment in 2019 concerning F1. Ric left RBR with his tail between his legs. He was ridiculed during the 2017 and 2018 season. Only luck had Ricci covered.

        1. Absurd. Danny Ricc left for a team who are potentially more likely than Red Bull to win titles in future. Renault have been a lot worse this season than everyone expected, so with hindsight it may be a big mistake – but it was a long term plan, so we need to wait and see what happens next year.

          Contract expiry has a lot more to do with who moves than anything else.

  11. Adam (@rocketpanda)
    27th May 2019, 12:33

    I’m sure his driving is average at the moment but that just serves to underline the strength of that car over the rest of the field. Is it really a competition if your competition can’t compete with you?

    Not saying he doesn’t make a difference as he is ludicrously talented, but you put a talented driver in a car *that* good and this is the kind of results you get. It would be a different story if Red Bull/Ferrari – let alone others were significantly closer than they are.

  12. :D So far average. Finally the veil has dropped from Wolff-Hamilton duo.

    That is why Bottas has a real chance. There is also room to improve, Hamilton’s ‘average’ can turn in to spectacular and he is well capable of getting 5-10 wins in a row now. Car has enough pace now it is only the question of putting in Lewis 2 tenths.

  13. I wonder what the gap will be like in Canada & forward – the Mercedes teams have not brought their 2nd engines in yet while I believe Ferrari & Honda already have their 2nd engines – not sure about Renault, but their engines are not major factor in the championship.

    The Merc teams should get an engine boost and have less concerns about engine penalties later in the year.

  14. It is obvious that on paper Hamilton will soon surpass all of Schumacher’s records but, it will be only on paper because anyone who is being intellectually honest , and even Hamilton himself if he is being honest , knows that most of his wins came NOT because of his skill or effort but, ONLY because Mercedes decides to use its vast wealth and power to take over F1 .
    Schumacher had a good car but, it was nothing compared to the Silver Arrow that Hamilton gets to drive . Race after race since 2014 Hamilton has only had no one to contend with .
    While Rosberg , for the most part played the team game Hamilton raced only for Hamilton ( even causing Patti Lowe to leave Mercedes because Lowe could no abide Hamilton’s trying to sacrifice Rosberg to the Ferrari’s in the last race of 2016 ).
    After Rosberg won the driver’s title and retired ( rather than be on the same team as Hamilton) Mercedes got a good but,not great replacement who was smart enough to lay back and collect that big check rather than try to best Hamilton and go through the back stabbing that Rosberg had to endure .
    So all the Hamilton ( I think the term you use is ” fanboys ” ) can talk of his records but, we who are honest have seen him for what he really is : a good driver who walked into a great situation and has always, always put himself ahead of all others and all principles .
    Schumacher was not a great sportsman and his legacy will forever be diminished by that but, as far as being a driver he was miles ahead of Hamilton so give the credit where it is due : not to Hamilton but, to Mercedes for buying the fastest cars money can buy .

Comments are closed.