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Hamilton will find 'mountain difficult to climb' if Mercedes fail to deliver - Hakkinen

Hamilton will find 'mountain difficult to climb' if Mercedes fail to deliver - Hakkinen

Hamilton will find 'mountain difficult to climb' if Mercedes fail to deliver - Hakkinen

Hamilton will find 'mountain difficult to climb' if Mercedes fail to deliver - Hakkinen

Two-time F1 champion Mika Hakkinen has questioned whether Lewis Hamilton will continue in the sport if Mercedes fail to make the fastest car this year within the new regulations.

After a dominant period for Mercedes in the turbo-hybrid era in which only Max Verstappen's triumph last year prevented a clean sweep of titles, the teams have been presented with a clean slate via a radically altered set of regulations.

Hamilton's future is still unclear after last year's controversial ending and although it is more than likely the seven-time champion will return, Hakkinen has cast doubt as to whether an uncompetitive season would ultimately mark the end for the Briton.

“Lewis’ journey in Formula 1 has been really long and there are so many elements which will come into his opinion as to whether to continue," said Hakkinen, speaking as an ambassador for Laureus ahead of its World Sports Awards.

“Lewis has the confidence. He has been winning, he has been on the top of the podium, and everybody has been looking at him like, ‘Wow, you are great’.

“He is thinking that it must continue this way, so this is going to be a very interesting year for him."

Referencing the fact F1's regulations have "dramatically changed" Hakkinen added: "It is going to be a completely new machine and the chances are that the designers might not find an optimum machine.

"If that happens to Lewis, it is going to be really hard for him to accept.

“If you have been at the top of the mountain and suddenly you have to climb back up the mountain because you don’t have the best car, it is going to be emotional for him to control.

“There are a lot of question marks surrounding Lewis. We don’t know whether he is coming back, but let’s hope he is.”

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