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Hamilton baffled by “very, very strange year”

Hamilton baffled by “very, very strange year”

F1 News

Hamilton baffled by “very, very strange year”

Hamilton baffled by “very, very strange year”

Lewis Hamilton has conceded to experiencing what he feels has been "a very, very strange year" with Mercedes.

After dominating F1, with Mercedes winning eight consecutive constructors' titles and Hamilton six drivers' championships, the past campaign was an altogether different experience.

Over the first half of the season, in particular, Mercedes and Hamilton were reduced to the role of onlookers due to its W13 being severely afflicted by aerodynamic issues following the introduction of a major regulation change last winter.

Over the second half, once Mercedes developed a better understanding of the problems, it and the seven-time champion were able to compete on a more equal footing, notably from the United States GP onwards after the introduction of a key upgrade.

Assessing the difference between this past season and those before, in an end-of-season interview with this writer for The New York Times, Hamilton said: "We've started seasons at the front and been fighting championships and it's a different kind of journey.

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“This year has been far, far deeper of a feeling because people work so hard to build this car, and it's, unfortunately, not been the car that they had hoped it would be.

“If everybody had just given up and turned up lazy then that would have defeated the purpose.

“Everyone, I'm so proud of. I've really seen, more than ever, the strength of every single individual in this team, way more than any of the winning years. I've never been so proud.

“Also, people at the top of the business within our team who want to do better, who want to do more, who realise that there's a better impact we can have in the world, this has been a crazy experience."

Recognising what it felt like to be an underdog on a rare occasion for Mercedes, Hamilton added: "Then on top of that, we're not winning but there's been more love.

"I've noticed more love even though we're not winning. It's been like 'One second, but we're not very good right now'.

"It's been a very, very strange year in that respect."

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