Lewis Hamilton explains unanswered demands after difficult F1 season - 'They weren't done'

Lewis Hamilton F1 news

Lewis Hamilton has opened up after a mixed season in F1

Jack Otway

By Jack Otway

Published: 29/11/2023

- 09:46

The Briton could only finish third in the driver standings

Lewis Hamilton has revealed Mercedes didn't meet his demands at the start of the F1 season.

And he's claimed he was left frustrated as a result, with the Silver Arrows struggling to challenge Red Bull this term.

Hamilton finished third in the driver standings, behind only champion Max Verstappen and runner-up Sergio Perez.

Yet he was unable to win a single race and was left disappointed as a result.

Lewis Hamilton F

Lewis Hamilton finished third in the current F1 season


Now, speaking to the BBC, Hamilton has revealed he asked for changes at the beginning of the campaign.

Yet Mercedes failed to meet his demands and he felt their performances suffered as a result.

“I’m sure there were frustrations because I had asked for certain changes, and they weren’t done,” he told BBC Sport.

“No one knew exactly what the problem was. No one knew how to fix it.

“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 [things] 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.”

Hamilton sounded alarmingly downbeat after the recent Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.

Yet he's convinced better and brighter days lie ahead for Mercedes after they clinched second in the constructors' championship.

"I do believe we have a North Star now," the Stevenage-born racer added.

"Which I don't think we've had for two years. But still getting there is not a straight line.

"And there were just certain things, decisions that have been made, that just left you blocked at the end of a road, and you can't do anything because of the cost cap and all these different things.

"If you look at the Red Bull - and they have done an amazing job - from Bahrain last year, they had a bouncing issue and they fixed it that week.

"And then you can imagine, if you're trying to build a wall, they are one brick after the other, just development, development, development.

"Maybe they added something and it didn't add performance.

"But they were still building. Whereas for us, we had to knock down the wall, if you like, in terms of aero.

"We had a lot of aero on that first car last year. We had to basically knock a ton of downforce off it and then slowly try to add.

"But every time we tried to add, it was worse. So we just didn't improve for a long, long, long time.


Lewis Hamilton F1

Lewis Hamilton is optimistic about the future despite Mercedes trailing Red Bull in F1


"I think we understand the car so much better. They have developed great tools in the background. So, naturally, I'm hopeful. But I'm not going to hold my breath."

Hamilton is also happy with the way he performed this year, despite Verstappen claiming glory for the third year on the trot.

"Most of my race performances have been really good," he added.

"So that, I am happy with - building back up to the level I should be."

You may like