Motor racing-Hamilton happy to see the back of 'unwanted' Mercedes

Formula One F1 - Abu Dhabi Grand Prix - Yas Marina Circuit, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates - November 20, 2022 Mercedes' Lewis Hamilton in action during the race REUTERS/Rula Rouhana

ABU DHABI (Reuters) - Lewis Hamilton was happy to see the back of his Mercedes on Sunday after enduring the first season without a win, or a pole position, of his record-breaking Formula One career.

The seven-times world champion, who made a sensational F1 debut with McLaren in 2007, retired from the final Abu Dhabi Grand Prix with a loss of hydraulic pressure three laps from the end.

"Ultimately I think we started (the season) with a car that we didn't want and we finished with a car that we didn't want," the Briton, winner of a record 103 races, told Sky Sports television.

"We were basically stuck with it and we just kept trundling away, kept working away at improving it but I think the fundamentals have still been there all the way to the end," added the 37-year-old.

"It's been more of a team building exercise this year."

Hamilton ended the season sixth overall, with team mate George Russell fourth in the standings.

It was the third time in 16 seasons that Hamilton had been beaten over the course of a championship by a team mate after Jenson Button did so in 2011 at McLaren and Nico Rosberg in 2016 at Mercedes.

Team boss Toto Wolff said Hamilton's failure to finish summed up a season marked by the car suffering from 'porpoising', or bouncing, on the straights.

"A car that was not at the pace it should have been, third quickest today (after Red Bull and Ferrari) and one breaking down and the other running out of tyres," said the Austrian of the evening's result.

Russell, winner in Brazil a week earlier in a Mercedes one-two, finished fifth on Sunday. The team ended up third overall in a constructors' championship they had dominated for the previous eight years.

"We are going to put these cars in reception in Brackley and Brixworth to remind us every single day how difficult it can be," said Wolff.

"This is a character-building season, not a blip for a race but a full season... now we are just pushing forward for next year. It's raw, it's bad and it's OK to feel like this but next year we are back."

(Reporting by Alan Baldwin in London, editing by Pritha Sarkar)

Article type: free
User access status:
Subscribe now to our Premium Plan for an ad-free and unlimited reading experience!

Next In Motorsport

Motor racing-MoneyGram boss says no peak in sight for F1's U.S. growth
Motor racing-Haas first F1 team to reveal new look for 2023
Motor racing-Audi takes minority stake in Swiss-based Sauber Group
Motor racing-Wehrlein takes the Formula E lead with a double in Diriyah
Motor racing-FIA defends Ben Sulayem after reported sexist comments
Motor racing-Porsche's Wehrlein wins first of two Saudi Formula E races
Hannah driven to make safety first in motorsports
Motor racing-Alfa Romeo F1 team announce co-title partnership with Stake
Motor racing-Ferrari boss assures Sainz on his status within team
Motor racing-Ferrari's only target is the title, says new boss Vasseur

Others Also Read