Max Verstappen wins third consecutive Formula One world championship
Lewis Hamilton has accused Mercedes of not listening to his concerns ahead of this season. The Brit eventually finished third in the Drivers’ Championship, behind Red Bull duo Max Verstappen and Sergio Perez.
For the second successive season, Hamilton was unable to register a single victory in what was another challenging year for the 38-year-old. The seven-time champion was hopeful of at least mounting a charge for the title but ultimately knew he would fall short after the first race in Bahrain.
Speaking to BBC Sport, Hamilton revealed that he had made specific requests for his car that were not listened to, prompting him to hold ‘big, big talks’ with the rest of his Mercedes team. “I remember it feeling exactly the same,” he said when comparing his car to last year. “And that definitely was not a great feeling. I really had high hopes.
“I’m sure there were frustrations, because I had asked for certain changes, and they weren’t done. No one knew exactly what the problem was, no one knew how to fix it.
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“Having the experience of the previous year, I just applied myself, in terms of digging down, sitting with the guys. We were having much better meetings. I was able to stay a lot more positive during the year and be like: ‘It’s going to be a long season, but let’s not give up. Let’s keep pushing towards getting the maximum out of the car, whatever that may be.’
“I think for this year they thought: ‘The fundamentals are good and we just have to go here.’ And it was not the case. That’s why I was frustrated in February because they hadn’t made the changes I’d asked for.”
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Hamilton went on to speak of how a ‘North Star’ has reinstated confidence in the Mercedes camp, particularly as they do not need to redesign their car for 2024. He continued: “We didn’t have a North Star necessarily at the beginning of the year, knowing exactly where we need to work towards. It’s been kind of a zig-zag line trying to frickin’ get to where we need to be.
“Every now and again, something positive happens. You’re like: ‘OK, that’s it.’ And then it shifts, so the goalpost is always moving, which is typical.” Hamilton will be hoping that his faith in Mercedes is repaid next year, having signed a two-year extension with the team in August in a major vote of confidence.
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