Mercedes has revealed Lewis Hamilton was 'shocked" earlier this season in finding himself an also-ran in the F1 title race after being a serial winner for so long.
The seven-time F1 champion has had to adjust to life over the course of a campaign in which Mercedes has slowly but surely found answers that plagued its car over the first half of the season in particular following changes to the aerodynamic regulations.
Assessing Hamilton's motivation over the course of what has been a difficult year, trackside engineering director Andrew Shovlin said: "Lewis is always working hard, super motivated and desperate to try to win.
"I think, going from the competitive position that we've had in the preceding years, to a really difficult car at the start of the year, was a bit of a shock for him.
"Also a bit of an adjustment for us to get used to effectively racing in the mid-pack for a lot of the early part of the year, having to make a lot of compromises with the car to try to get the best out of it and then learning at the same time."
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Hamilton commitment increasing
Mercedes and Hamilton have at least progressed closer to the front, even if Red Bull and Max Verstappen remain a cut above, with the Dutch driver scoring a record-breaking 14 wins so far this season.
Hamilton has at least scored seven podiums in the last 12 grands prix, including finishing runner-up on four occasions, although it appears with two races remaining he is set to endure his first season in F1 without a victory.
Despite that, Shovlin maintains progress has been made, with Hamilton at the forefront of the drive to ensure he and Mercedes become winners again.
"I think, the same as us as a team, Lewis can see that we're definitely going in the right direction," added Shovlin.
"We can see a clear route to getting back to a point where we can challenge for pole positions and wins.
"And you can see with Lewis’ commitment to the team, that's increasing, the closer we get, and his commitment to putting in the work on his side to try and help us achieve those goals.