Lewis Hamilton admits a second season out of contention for the world championship is not giving him much satisfaction.his drive to restore the team to a competitive position.
However that failed to materialise at the beginning of the new season. Hamilton finished 50 seconds behind dominant race-winner Max Verstappen in Bahrain, and qualified six-tenths of a second off the pace for today’s Saudi Arabian Grand Prix.
Hamilton joined Mercedes a decade ago and has enjoyed huge success with them since, winning six of his world championships at the team and coming within one lap of a seventh in the notorious 2021 finale. He is contracted to remain with them until the end of this season.
Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff has said he doesn’t believe Hamilton will lose faith in the team “just because we’ve had another start that was really bad.” However in Jeddah Wolff admitted he would understand Hamilton choosing to look elsewhere if the current situation persists over the coming seasons.
“If he wants to win another championship, he needs to make sure that he has the car. And if we cannot demonstrate that we are able to give him a car in the next couple of years, then he needs to look everywhere.”
Speaking after yesterday’s qualifying session, Hamilton said the possibility of moving on from Mercedes isn’t on his mind at the moment. “I’m not focussed on that,” he said.
“I love this team. I’m so grateful for everyone that’s been able to join in with me on this team. I don’t envisage being anywhere else, I don’t see myself quitting. I’m not a quitter.”
However facing the prospect of another year in which he may not have the chance to win another race, Hamilton admitted he doesn’t find as much satisfaction competing for the lower positions.
“I wouldn’t say that it’s giving me a lot,” he said. “I’ve been here and done that and bought the T-shirt.
“But I am trying to be patient and work with the team to get us to a good place so that’s all I can say. I’m not planning on going anywhere.”
Advert | Become a RaceFans supporter and
2023 Saudi Arabian Grand Prix
- Two races, no points: How 2023 compares to McLaren’s worst starts to a season
- Don’t complain about Red Bull dominating F1, they deserve it – Sainz
- Unheard team radio highlights from the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix
- McLaren designer Key out as Brown says team must speed up its car development
- Alfa Romeo identify “massive debris” which ruined Bottas’ race
32 comments on “‘I’ve been here and done that’ – second year out of contention frustrates Hamilton”
19th March 2023, 11:49
This whining is symptomatic of a waning spirit and determination driven by a false sense of entitlement to be at the top of the time sheets, and without that spirit and determination, that laser focus on the job in hand, he is not going to win anything. All he will do is damage his team. It may soon be time for him to depart.
19th March 2023, 12:16
Did you even bother to read the article, did you actually take a second to glance at Hamilton’s words?
My word, what utter trite.
19th March 2023, 13:53
Man get out of here with that nonsense. Lewis doesn’t complain when he makes mistakes, he owns up to them. He earned Merc 6 drivers championships and you think he’s hurting the team?! Man is always saying how proud he is of the whole team at the track and at the factory. In fact, I don’t see a stronger bonded driver-team pairing on the grid (there’s Max and RB but you know Max would ditch them in a hurry if they struggled as much as Merc has since ‘22). Lewis seems pretty determined to end his career with Merc as well. Man gives props where it’s due and you cannot argue with that.
19th March 2023, 16:28
You’re obviously a close and personal friend of Lewis, so I’ll take your word on it, but…
How do you make this assumption about Verstappen?
19th March 2023, 19:54
A false sense of entitlement indeed. I see the response comments have not dealt at all with this claim.
As for Hamiltons polemic against your view, well, he knows everyone will think it and needs to protect his place.
As for Totos comments, its almost like he is conceding that Merc will not be able to overcome the trouble they are in (ie, return to utter dominance) under the current regs. Which is also interesting.
19th March 2023, 21:54
How is it a false sense of entitlement to want to win races?!!
19th March 2023, 11:55
Guess it’s how the 18 other drivers felt for 8 years during the Merc dominance era.
19th March 2023, 14:00
You’re saying that Williams or AlphaTauri drivers are feeling much better now?
19th March 2023, 13:02
Reality check: Lewis has yet to drive a car that didn’t win a Grand Prix.
Imagine what he would say if he had a less exceptional set of cars to his avail through virtually every season of his career.
19th March 2023, 15:30
All a product of his own talent and hard work though, no?
Yes, there’s always luck involved, but the reason he got into a Mclaren in his first season is he was just that good (and that first season against the reigning world champion, Alonso, proved it). He then made the shrewd move to switch away from them to Mercedes at just the right time, who also wanted him because he was the best.
19th March 2023, 23:48
And schumacher or senna weren’t good before joining f1? Because they didn’t start with top teams, that’s what makes hamilton’s or villeneuve’s luck exceptional: starting with a good or dominant car.
19th March 2023, 16:12
It’s almost like he’s been a good enough driver never to need to drive on of those less exception cars…
Do you know anything about this sport? Top teams don’t just put anyone in their cars – they have to be able to deliver, and that’s one thing that Hamilton always has done.
20th March 2023, 2:53
Plenty of drivers have been crappy cars through no fault of their own, including Hamilton’s hero.
19th March 2023, 23:50
It’s a good point, these people are trying to convince us alonso isn’t at least as good as hamilton? Because alonso had PLENTY of years without a race winning car.
19th March 2023, 13:07
We’ve not even done the 2nd race yet, calm down. There’s drivers and teams that spend their entire careers chasing the ‘lower positions’ and would love the chance to challenge for where this current iteration of the Mercedes is and honestly it’s not even *that* bad! Are they struggling for Q3? Squabbling over 10th for a point? Honestly, stop.
19th March 2023, 13:13
It seems whichever poor person is meant to filter Mercedes’ output through the corporate PR strategy guidelines has been left scrambling – and failing – to control what’s said in Mercedes’ name. And all that drama from a team that just months ago won a race on genuine pace, could maybe have won more in that season, and is now sitting third in the WCC.
19th March 2023, 23:53
Indeed, thinking about it, mercedes is the last team that won a race apart from red bull, and like you said did that on pace, then we have ferrari several races before, then we’d probably have mclaren at monza 2021, not exactly on pace, but a monaco-type situation: ricciardo was ahead and imo would’ve defended from verstappen all race, hadn’t been jumped in the pits either, even without a bad pit stop for verstappen.
Red Andy (@red-andy)
19th March 2023, 13:17
The car’s just qualified on the second row. It’s not that bad.
19th March 2023, 14:35
LeClerc penalty and Max driveshaft. It’s still 4th best car.
19th March 2023, 23:55
From what we saw this race, the car looked at least as good as ferrari, maybe better; aston is still ahead, so merc would be 3rd.
19th March 2023, 13:52
He seems like a 2014 Sebastian Vettel to me. He has won all that could be won, so turning up to compete for places 3 to 10 just doesn’t motivate him. Russel will probably outperform him this year as was the case with Ricciardo.
19th March 2023, 15:36
@afonic – I had the same thought. Vettel was a beast for RBR then came the hybrid era and it fell apart. Many occasions Vettel venting frustration and wanting the V8’s back.
In this situation with Hamilton is more to do with the car not challenging for wins and well believing that if he diverts efforts to help the tech team fix the w13 problem the true performance will come… well we know how that worked out so in a sense did he go through all of that for nothing…
19th March 2023, 17:58
it was so much worse with vettel. Rose tinted glasses. He couldn’t take the heat and ran to another team. He was also quoted as “what is the point”? when asked about fighting lower positions.
19th March 2023, 14:14
Looking at what happened to SVB, I wonder if the diversity agenda also backfired at Mercedes.
19th March 2023, 14:30
I would say the shopping RBR, Aston Martin and to a lesser extent Ferrari made in Brackely and Brixworth in the last couple of years is the root cause of Mercedes struggling and those teams regaining competitivity. Nothing to do with the degree of nonsense woke stuff going on in the United States.
19th March 2023, 14:45
@tifoso1989 Indeed, this is a cycle that’s hard to stop. When a team does well, it’s great for a while – but then inevitably tensions start to form that end up breaking it apart. Some people feel they’ve accomplished their goals and stop, some want more influence but can’t get it in that team so they look elsewhere, others are promoted out of the racing team into a more manufacturer-wide position, and there’s no shortage of competitors trying to ‘read’ the situation to make targeted offers to jump ship. It’s a tough job to keep that all together, and Todt did well to do it as long as he managed at Ferrari before guys like Brawn, Martinelli, and even Schumacher started to look at ‘life after Ferrari’.
19th March 2023, 15:35
It is a management skill to keep vital personnel onboard.
Mercedes has had a lot of employees running for the hills.
And if the employees share the opinion of Bottas, that they feel they can finally be themselves after leaving Mercedes. It is a tell tale sign that Mercedes isn’t a happy place to be as an employee, but a stifling place that crushes employees personalities.
20th March 2023, 10:02
You just have to take a look at their events and the videos they post on their social channels to realize that.
19th March 2023, 15:40
Maybe a Boris knighthood (as opposed to a proper one) was the right level of honour.
19th March 2023, 19:47
But i see your point, indeed I do.
20th March 2023, 2:56
Boris was great on Ukraine at least. More than can be said about Hamilton rallying in the face of the slightest adversity.
21st March 2023, 21:37
Mmm, mebbe back to karting?
Comments are closed.