Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, Silverstone, 2024

Hamilton admits he ‘didn’t feel good enough’ at times during win-less run

Formula 1

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British Grand Prix winner Lewis Hamilton admits that he had moments of doubting he may ever win again during his long win-less run of almost 60 grands prix.

Hamilton ended the longest win drought of his Formula 1 career and claimed his 104th grand prix victory and ninth win in the British Grand Prix by holding off a hard-charging Max Verstappen over the final laps.

This was Hamilton’s final British Grand Prix victory as a Mercedes driver with the seven-times world champion having confirmed he will move to Ferrari at the end of this season. Hamilton said he was desperate to win his final home race as a Mercedes driver.

“I can’t stop crying,” Hamilton said. “It’s been since 2021, just every day getting up, trying to fight, to train to put my mind to the task and work as hard as I can with this amazing team.

“This is my last race here at the British Grand Prix with this team, so I wanted to win it so much for them because I love them. I appreciate them so much. All the hard work they’ve been putting in all of these years, I’m forever grateful to everyone in this team, everyone at Mercedes and all our partners.”

Hamilton had not won a race since the 2021 Saudi Arabian Grand Prix, a span of 57 rounds. He admitted that there had been moments where he wondered whether he would ever win again over the last two-and-a-half seasons.

“It’s so tough, I think, for anyone,” said Hamilton. “But I think the important thing is just how you continue to get up you’ve got to continue to dig deep, even when you feel like you’re at the bottom of the barrel.

“There’s definitely been days between 2021 and here where I didn’t feel like I was good enough, or whether I was going to get back to where I am today. But the important thing is I had great people around me continuing to support me and my team, every time I turned up. And to see them putting in the effort, that really encouraged me to do the same thing. And otherwise my fans, when I see them around the world, they have been so supportive. So a big, big thank you to everybody back to the factory. Everyone here, I love you guys.”

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Will Wood
Will has been a RaceFans contributor since 2012 during which time he has covered F1 test sessions, launch events and interviewed drivers. He mainly...

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48 comments on “Hamilton admits he ‘didn’t feel good enough’ at times during win-less run”

  1. On Instagram: ‘Goat. Congrats Lewis.’
    Sebastian Vettel. Whatever Lewis’s own doubts, someone believes in him.

    1. Seb became a very classy person towards the end of his career.

      1. He went from my least favorite driver to one of my favorites. Very kind, working on so many great causes, and a great interview.

  2. Jonathan Parkin
    7th July 2024, 17:19

    The only British driver to have both God Save The Queen and God Save The King played on the podium

    1. Nice stat.

      1. None in the 50s? Did they play national anthems then? For the driver and constructor as is done today?

        1. First British winner of a championship race wasn’t until Hawthorn in ’53.

    2. Yet another record. :-)

  3. And fitting to get it done where he needed to rely on skill and judgement. And where no one could say It’s The Car.

    1. Exactly this – Toto once said after a wet race, it’s days like this that you want Lewis I’m your car.

      Regardless of nationality, team or any other aspects – you have to admit that his finesse with a racing car puts him among the greatest of all time, and perhaps at the top of the list.

      1. Apologies for the typo

        1. We knew what you meant. :-)

  4. Now imagine what Fernando Alonso must have been going through for the last 11 years. Not 2 years, not 3 years – 11 years.

    1. The British media has convinced everyone he deserves it as he’s some evil, scheming sociopath. It’s all part of the ridiculous “toxic” narrative that has made his career more difficult than it should have been. I was rewatching some of the pre-2007 races and it was so funny hearing James Allison refer to him as “one of the nicest guys on the grid.” I just laughed and thought say that in two years and they’ll have your head.

      1. ? If he wasn’t problematic for real, you think the teams would have cared what the media thinks? Or that journalist opinion matters more than what gets discussed or deduced on the grid?
        Besides, he was able to make the big move to Ferrari, while Hamilton’s move to Mercedes was judged ill-conceived at the time, and then back to McLaren again before Alpine and Aston Martin took him on. The only ‘difficult’ bit I can see is some hypothetical move to Red Bull when they started looking good again, but by then Verstappen was there and likely to be blocking any such move for Alonso.

        1. @david-br it seems to be part of a pattern by that poster that he always wants to demonise something else. It’s the evil British press, apparently twirling their cartoon villain moustaches as they develop another evil scheme against Alonso, or it’s stewards turned into caricature villains, or it’s Italians being incompetent and stupid for failing to build a better car for Alonso when he was at Ferrari. It’s always somebody else that they want to criticise, and preferably someone foreign at that.

        2. It’s hard to take you seriously because your consistent hate for Alonso is beyond bizarre. Please point out to me anything that is different to the way other drivers like your hero Lewis, who I am fan but not at the expense of hating other drivers like you, have behaved in the past.

          @anon

          Demonize?

          It’s easy to make an argument when you make up stuff. I’ve never once said anything about Ferrari re: Alonso ever.

          I talked about the highly questionable stewards decisions in China and Australia and I had millions of fans in my company, including publications and channels. There’s a reason the Australia penalty generated more than 4 articles with 100+ comments on here. We saw him a get 20 second penalty for an incident with no contact and a penalty for lightly touching wheels with Sainz while others have t-boned him while locked up and got no penalty or had massive contact and only got 10 seconds. I wonder why I questioned those penalties. But I never blamed them for the cars he’s driven. So, again, taken out of context you can make a great argument!

          And I questioned whether it’s appropriate to have Herbert, who has been openly hostile to Alonso as well as made comments like calling Ricciardo a “social media driver” to be a steward. You’d certainly be questioning if Max retired and became a steward with the power to determine if Lewis deserved a penalty. And yet again I wasn’t even close to alone in questioning Herbert’s neutrality.

          Finally, do you think I’m alone in saying the British press have had a double standard for British stars versus others or treated Alonso or even Max differently? In every country, F1 media tends to have a nationality based bias, which is no different than media on geopolitics, ball sports, etc. The difference is British journos dominate F1 media. With some, the bias is subconscious, some blatant and some show no bias. This is basic human nature. To say otherwise is to be intentionally blind.

    2. Semi-related, but not being able to actually ever see anyone but teammates in the same machinery is why my dream version of F1 would have alternating weekends with constructor cars and spec F1 cars. Best of both worlds. Get to see the best drivers in the world in both equal machinery as well as the space age, bespoke constructor cars.

      1. Yes, that would be a nice idea, and maybe we’d get comments like, for example from verstappen: “wow, that haas car is better than you guys think, wait until I get to drive it!”.

      2. Oh, but you mean all in the same car, makes sense, I thought it was that car swap idea where they keep cycling and everyone gets every car\driver combination in the end.

    3. BLS (@brightlampshade)
      7th July 2024, 21:19

      Time flies doesn’t it! Doesn’t feel 11 years.

      He so very almost got a win or two last season but those results from the first half of 2023 look a world away now. Wonder if he’s put his CV in with Mercedes. Surely he’s slid a clause or two into his AM contract :D

      1. I’d like to see him go against a driver like George.

    4. Alonso had the second quickest car for half a season last year and couldn’t pull off a win. He’s just not that good. Hamilton had the measure of him in his first season, he did right to run away before he got properly beat. Alonso is his own worst enemy, it didn’t need anything from the media to torpedo his career.

      1. It was the 2nd best car a light year off from Red Bull. Doesnt mean anything that he could not win with that car.

        Hamilton beat him on his rookie year and Hamilton himself had trouble having another season as good as that for a long time. So, doesnt mean anything either.

      2. “Alonso had the second quickest car for half a season last year and couldn’t pull off a win.”

        He has the 4rd quickest car, because there are 2 RedBulls. And you know how dishonest and manipulative your statement is, knowing that Aston martin never had a winning car in 2023 and they were always behind RedBull. Alonso had squeezed everything that Aston Martin had in it.

        1. I think Verstappen or Hamilton would have won a race in that AM.

          1. “I am delusional” is basically what you meant to say. It’d even be delusional to say that Hamilton drove anywhere near as well as Alonso last season.

          2. I think the only opportunities were canada and monaco, monaco more of a matter of taking risks when there are opportunities by the team (pitting a lap earlier and directly to the right tyres) and in canada they let him slow down to preserve some component… when you get a chance to win a race in a decade you try everything for it.

            Monaco maybe was the only realistic one.

      3. He never had the second quickest car. What absolute nonsense. And, during the small window when you could make an argument he did, the RBR was at the height of its dominance. So, what in the hell are you talking about? He was ranked the second best driver in basically every publication’s end of year driver ratings, but yeah, he was awful!

        1. Yes, generally, verstappen didn’t leave many opportunities, let’s not forget red bull won every race but singapore that season, and by singapore aston martin’s competitiveness was gone.

      4. Agree with edvaldo, I hope you don’t think, for example, that the 2008 season, where hamilton struggled to beat massa (and wouldn’t have with even luck), is better than his rookie season.

  5. I was always positive he’d win again someday.

    1. I’m not sure why so many people are so surprised he won again. He drove great last season and even this year he’s generally been faster in the race than GR. Even in quali, the gap has been a fraction of how people are portraying the difference.

      BTW, I’m not referring to you. But the outpouring of articles about his “broken streak” and all this other nonsense of people being like “he’s back.” If he had finished 2nd because McLaren got their strategy right would people have said “poor race by Lewis?” To me, this is an example of how the media can really never fully make themselves factor the car into the equation. You’d think Max was driving with a bunch of bums based on how he has been compared to them last year.

      1. I personally was one of those who was skeptical about hamilton winning again, at least at mercedes, then depending on the ferrari performance level it’s another matter, because this year he wasn’t as convincing as russell so far, and even russell was only able to win because of a contact between verstappen and norris.

        Hamilton’s performance didn’t fill me with confidence this year, a bit was also the car ofc, which improved now.

      2. those who were*

  6. BLS (@brightlampshade)
    7th July 2024, 21:31

    Just spotted it’s Hungry next, a certain aging Brit has a good record at that circuit. Although his younger upstart team mate is a Saturday specialist and it’s not an easy circuit to pass at.

    1. Yes, russell actually got a pole in 2022, I think it was, but ended up using his tyres too much and fell behind hamilton, we were already in an era where beating verstappen\red bull was a miracle for anyone.

  7. That’s probably the feeling that leads most guys to retire around his age.

    But his race pace is as good as ever, kept Russel at bay then went for the overtake. Saturdays are the problem now. Doesn’t seem as sharp as he once was.

    1. Or he’s still tending to set up for races rather than pole.

      1. Didn’t Hamilton set up with more downforce to help with wet weather and tyre management. I don’t think they were that comparable this weekend although Hamilton did concede he left a little on the track that Russell found.

    2. I think it’s a mentality thing rather than a skill issue. He’s still got the pace but in a car that’s been off the pace, he’s lacked the hunger. This weekend, he had a quick car and was in front of a home crowd and we saw Lewis at his best. He needs to find a way to replicate that going forward. Maybe his switch to Ferrari will help?

  8. It is very rare for a world class athlete to show insecurity. Especially during their career. Respect for doing that.

    On Instagram: ‘Goat. Congrats Lewis.’
    Sebastian Vettel.

    That should be GOTE. Greatest Of Their Era.
    Even if he shares that title with Alonso. Vaguely like the GOTE Prost/Senna.

    Actually, I find it interesting that he started his career as a Senna to Alonso’s Prost but that he himself has developped into a Prost – or a Lauda – over time.

    1. Whilst I value Lewis and feel he is amongst the best, I do believe in 10-15 years time he will not be mentioned amongst the great. Nobody ever mentions Vettel either, despite his 4 WDC titles. It is for a reason. While Lewis might be one of the better we’ve ever seen out there, his tally of titles is hugely flattered by the domination of an entire era (V6Hybrid) by the Mercedes car. Had Alonso gone to Mercedes back then he would now be at 8 to 9 WDC titles and Lewis would still be at 1 title. He is definitely top 10 all time material, don’t get me wrong, but the real drivers of an era were Senna, Schumacher and now is Verstappen. They pulled off things beyond the capabilities off their cars. Lewis is a stellar driver nevertheless and greatly deserved the win yesterday. Well done and in front of the home crowd, a dream come true.

      1. I do think we are in a new era in which Verstappen will be remembered as the gote. Even for a Hill fan like me, it is undeniable that Schumacher was the gote of the late 90s, early 2000s.

        In between, I would say there are arguments for and against both Hamilton and Alonso to be the Greatest Of Their/that Era.

        Alonso ++
        + Impressive 2006 season, contender for the best individual season performance ver. Defeating Schumacher in roughly equal cars, despite having more mechanical faillures..
        + Almost 2012 champ in a car that had no business winning that title
        + Easily outscoring everyone bar Vettel in a very mediocre 2013 ferrari
        + Completely destroying experienced, until then highly rated, drivers like Massa, Raikkonen and Fisichella in the same car.

        Alonso — (first career)
        – It is hard to imagine someone like Senna or Verstappen not making that pass on Petrov
        – Struggled against rookie Hamilton
        – Apart from Renault, Teams seem to invariably slide backwards when he is driving,

        Hamilton ++
        + Outstanding rookie season by matching Alonso
        + Phenomenal statistics
        + Did not need dominant car to win races and even contend for titles in 2009-2013
        + Some awesome drives in the rain

        Hamilton —
        – Defeated to the title by an excellent but not alltime great team mate
        – Not quite as dominant against Button, Rosberg and Bottas as one would exoect from a generational talent
        – Had off-days and even off-weeks during almost every season, even though I am willing to believe that he planned his off days against Bottas until he signed his contract extension was agreed by Toto.

        Even in hindsight, it is hard to say who was the better driver during – let’s say- 2005-2021.

        1. In terms of mechanical failures, schumacher and alonso were basically even in 2006, schumacher had the fuel pump and engine, and alonso had the bad wheel and engine, also points-wise very similar, which still means, if the cars can be considered equal, he drove better than schumacher that season (and I’m a schumacher fan).

          Indeed, senna and verstappen are good names to bring up to try and overtake petrov in that circumstance, let’s not forget it was a “nothing to lose” situation, he should’ve just risked it, cause he’d have lost the title either way if he hadn’t made it past him and kubica.

          I think destroying raikkonen like he did in 2014 was indeed very impressive, it’s the kind of things schumacher did too in his first career, but raikkonen was even more highly rated than massa or barrichello.

          Unfortunately, ever since 2007, alonso and hamilton haven’t been team mates any more, I’m sure many people who insist that just because of 2007 hamilton would beat alonso would be in for a surprise, should that happen (but by now it’s basically mathematically impossible).

      2. Just love the mayton passive aggressive stance with anything Hamilton!

        Go back and watch five races from the 2014 2016 then the largest regulations change in f1 history 2017 on..

        Now you tell me where once max has anything even close to the competition Hamilton had with his teammate let alone other teams and let alone huge regulations change. In fact – Hamilton has won across all regulation changes since 2007 – max – fast boy – team totally geared around him – how many changes of regulation?

        Please – we know you can’t stand him but just be honest about it!

  9. Whilst I value Lewis and feel he is amongst the best, I do believe in 10-15 years time he will not be mentioned amongst the great.

    Seriously? I think in ten to fifteen years time, you’ll be pretending it wasn’t you who said that. His numbers are so huge that in fifteen years it will still be very likely that he will be in the top 3 of all time race winners, and top 3 of all time WDC winners. Even if a driver came into the sport in 2025 and won just about every race, it would still be around 2030 before they were overhauling Hamilton’s numbers, and among current drivers, only Verstappen has a realistic shot at beating them.

    Hamilton does seem to attract predictions from naysayers. When he moved to Mercedes, people said he had sold out, gone there purely to cash in, and confidently predicted he would never win another WDC, never win another race, never even be on pole again. And in the last couple of years we’ve had numerous people saying he should retire because he’ll never win another race again. That includes notable figures like Jackie Stewart who said he should have retired, and it was only a month ago that I read an article where an F1 correspondent was saying Hamilton should take the rest of the year off and let someone else drive the Mercedes.

    Senna, Schumacher and now Verstappen …. pulled off things beyond the capabilities off their cars

    So you are just rephrasing the argument that Hamilton’s succes is all down to the car? Hamilton has been in F1 so long now that people forget that before he got his F1 chance he had won multiple karting championships, the Renault UK title, the F2 Euro title, and the GP2 title. That can’t be all down to the car. If you’ve watched F1 long enough you will know that there were many races where he has come from a seemingly impossible gap to overhaul the leader, races where he has thrown in a crazy lap or two on badly worn tyres to make an undercut work, and so on. Oh yes, that’s another prediction that Hamilton-detractors came up with during his career, that Hamilton would not be able to compete with new tyre rules because he is too hard on his tyres. Best then we ignore his 2020 race at Silverstone where he drove home on a delaminated and eventually flat tyre when most would have failed to keep it on the track.

    So what example can you give me where Verstappen has pulled off something “beyond the capabilities of the car”? I’m not sure what you mean by that. No-one can ever make the car do something it isn’t capable of, so I’ll assume you mean getting more out of the car than the average F1 driver would think possible. But still, what can you point to? Is there anything comparable to Schumacher winning the Spanish GP despite his car being stuck in 5th gear. Most drivers wouldn’t even have been able to control the clutch enough to get the car out of the pits. If you dismiss Hamitlon’s achievements as all being down to having a fast car, you have to dismiss Max’s achievements by the same token.

    1. His numbers are so huge that in fifteen years it will still be very likely that he will be in the top 3 of all time race winners

      But that was my point. It is not about the numbers. Numbers don’t make greatness. Senna would come very short if it was about numbers. Numbers have to be seen vs the circumstances in which they were achieved.

      So you are just rephrasing the argument that Hamilton’s succes is all down to the car? Hamilton has been in F1 so long now that people forget that before he got his F1 chance he had won multiple karting championships, the Renault UK title, the F2 Euro title, and the GP2 title. That can’t be all down to the car.

      No, I state his tally is down to the car. His talent is undisputed so I recognise all the good things he has done to get to F1 and within F1. My point remains his tally is flattered by circumstances…since we are discussing GOAT, GOTE etc

      If you’ve watched F1 long enough you will know that there were many races where he has come from a seemingly impossible gap to overhaul the leader, races where he has thrown in a crazy lap or two on badly worn tyres to make an undercut work, and so on

      I agree there have definitely been races Mercedes wouldn’t have won if not for Lewis in that car. He is a great. His tally however is disproportionate.

      so I’ll assume you mean getting more out of the car than the average F1 driver would think possible

      Exactly that. Similar to your examples mentioned about Lewis pulling one out of the hat now & then. It is just that Max has so many more of these and is so incredibly consistent and ‘always on’.

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