Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, Yas Marina, 2022

Win-less season was tough but “2011 was probably the hardest year” – Hamilton

2022 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix

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Lewis Hamilton admitted his first ever win-less season has been hard, but said it wasn’t the toughest year he’s endured during his time in Formula 1.

George Russell gave Mercedes their first victory of the year in the penultimate round in Brazil. But despite never seeming in contention for a win at the season finale, Hamilton said he remained hopeful until the end that a win would come his way.

“I always believed right until the last race that there was potentially a chance,” he said after Sunday’s race. “So I think it’s important to hold onto hope and just keep working.”

Hamilton hit trouble early in Sunday’s race when he appeared to suffer damage after going off the track. He was holding fourth in the final laps with Carlos Sainz Jnr bearing down on him when a technical problem put him out.

“I gave it everything,” he said. “I think it ultimately the last race was almost like the whole season, summed up the whole year. So I’m glad it’s done.”

“Of course it would have been nice to have had a win,” he admitted. “But one win is not really enough, is it?

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Sebastian Vettel, Aston Martin, Yas Marina, 2022
Gallery: 2022 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix in pictures
“I feel like this year when we got our first fifth, it felt like a win. When we got our first fourth, it felt like a win. When we got our first podium it felt like a win. The seconds felt as if we had really achieved something. So I just hold on to those.”

He named the 2011 season, when he took three wins and finished fifth in the championship for McLaren, as one of his tougher years in F1. “I think 2011 was probably the hardest year I had just in terms of, just in life,” he said.

“This year was probably not the greatest. It’s up there with the probably top three of the worst seasons. But it’s been, I think, a much stronger year in terms of myself, in terms of how I work with the team, how we’ve all stayed united. So I think there has been lots of pluses from this year.”

He is due to drive the team’s W13 once more this year in testing on Tuesday, but joked he may try to find a way out of it. “I don’t know, I might have to pull a sickie, be like ‘my back’s hurting’ or something,” he laughed.

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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...
Claire Cottingham
Claire has worked in motorsport for much of her career, covering a broad mix of championships including Formula One, Formula E, the BTCC, British...

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18 comments on “Win-less season was tough but “2011 was probably the hardest year” – Hamilton”

  1. Hamilton was knobbled out of that Brazilian win which seem predestined for him. I’m sure he wont forget that in a hurry. For all the talk of new teammates getting on, that new chap Russell knows how to play dirty when it suits his interests.

    1. No idea what you’re on about

      1. Well, russell playing dirty, I can only thing about purposefully beaching the car in quali while the rain intensified. I doubt he did on purpose, but it’d have been interesting where hamilton and other drivers would end up that last lap before the rain intensified, if there hadn’t been that interruption, what with hamilton being generally good in the rain.

    2. I agree but i would prefer sly not dirty.

  2. Yeah he was a mess in 2011. When he wasnt crashing with Massa it was massive off track drama. He doesn’t seem like the same person at all.

    1. I think you mean when massa was told to ‘destroy Hamilton’s race’ and was crashing into him.

      1. “Felipe, execute order 44!”

        1. I remember that now….massa not english speaking probably took his instruction too literally…

      2. Well, I guess hamilton hadn’t taken that number yet, wasn’t following during the vettel era, only before and after.

  3. Probably better than 2011, that was bad, and the car was decent, and 2013 in which he dropped of near the end.

    If people consider Russell a future champion in the making and Hamilton is still slightly more competitive than him, that’s a good level to be.

    1. I’d like to see Russell up his race pace. It’s not bad, but most of the time he’s still a fair chunk away from Hamilton. I was expecting him to take it to at least one of the Ferraris today and he didn’t have the pace, whereas Hamilton was faster for most of the race even with (what looks to have been) a damaged car.

      I think the Merc had the pace to be fighting for P2 with LeClerc and Perez. Hamilton seemed capable of doing so without the early incident, but Russell never seemed to be. I was a bit disappointed.

      1. I agree 100% but if i may add i think Mercedes went the wrong way with their setvup. Or atleast maybe abit too extreme.

  4. Russel has proven to be the most consistent driver out of the 2, eventually beating lewis over the whole season. Makes everyone wonder if lewis is at albon’s level, as albon also beat latifi the way russel beat latifi. In fact latifi managed to beat russel a few times.

    1. Well, we already know Max is just below the level of Riccardo. So let’s give Lando a proper chance.

      1. Maldonado scored more wins in a season than Lewis, Ricciardo, Lando and Alonso (combined) did this year, so Pastor could be at Albon level?

    2. Actually if you watched alot of interviews by the drivers etc and read up more on the teams development you would know that Lewis sacrificed his car for testing the first half of the year. Testing extreme setups. Testing areo. Testing different suspension etc. Whioe russell was given free opportunity to just go racing. There is always a bigger picture. You should step back and see it sometimes. Your appreciation for Lewis and Russel might just change.

  5. wonder if lewis is at albon’s level,

    You put the bar too high. Latifi is more like it

    1. It is nice you have a distinctive avatar cause this way we can all skip your unskilled hate-speech in a blink

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