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F1 winner gives savage verdict on Hamilton struggles

F1 winner gives savage verdict on Hamilton struggles

F1 News

F1 winner gives savage verdict on Hamilton struggles

F1 winner gives savage verdict on Hamilton struggles

Former Formula 1 race winner David Coulthard has said that seven-time world champion Lewis Hamilton is not 'at his prime' after a difficult season.

Hamilton has not won a race since the 2021 Saudi Arabian Grand Prix and, although he cemented third place in the drivers' standings and secured six podiums this year, he suffered another season of inconsistencies.

His malaise was worsened by a seventh-place finish in Las Vegas before a ninth-place finish at the season-ending Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.

While George Russell's podium at the finale allowed Mercedes to finish second in the constructors' championship behind the dominant Red Bull, very rarely did either driver look like they could challenge for a win in the season.

Lewis Hamilton claimed six podiums in 2023, but was outperformed by Max Verstappen
Lewis Hamilton's season was full of inconsistencies, partly because of his car's poor performance
George Russell was the last Mercedes driver to win a Grand Prix, at the Brazilian GP in 2022

Is the magic gone?

Coulthard has now said that Hamilton may have seen his best days and hinted at a loss of 'magic' in his displays.

"This is not Lewis at his prime," the Scot told Channel 4 after the Abu Dhabi GP.

"This is Lewis in a very frustrating two-year state of underperforming. When he gets a winning car again, it'll be really interesting to see if he can rediscover the old Lewis magic."

Coulthard's former team-mate Mark Webber, however, has blamed the team's failings for Hamilton's poor form.

"The car is a mystery isn't it?" the former Red Bull racer said.

"Like Brazil, nowhere. Mexico, Austin - obviously Lewis got done as the car was a bit low there, technically - but ultimately that race there Hamilton was on fire. This thing is literally on or off, it blowing hot or cold, the drivers up and down.

"They're very little nip and tuck and, when you're nip and tuck, you can actually develop, you can actually start to feed off each other. But when you've got a gulf, it's hard technically on a weekend to execute pulling all the corners together.

"So they will want to put that thing in the bin."

READ MORE: Wolff reveals DRAMATIC changes to Mercedes car for 2024

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