Lewis Hamilton has F1 pundit extremely worried after setting off alarm bells in Abu Dhabi

Lewis Hamilton F1 news

Lewis Hamilton finished ninth at the F1 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix on Sunday

Jack Otway

By Jack Otway

Published: 27/11/2023

- 10:17

The 38-year-old finished ninth during the Grand Prix in the Middle East

F1 pundit Damon Hill has admitted he's worried about Lewis Hamilton after the Briton's struggles at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix on Sunday.

The 38-year-old could only finish ninth as Max Verstappen cruised to a 19th race win of the season.

After the race, Hamilton sounded alarmingly dejected and suggested he wasn't convinced Mercedes can turn their form around.

"Not particularly," he told the broadcaster when asked if he takes any satisfaction from Mercedes finishing second in the constructors' championship.

Lewis Hamilton Damon Hill F1

Lewis Hamilton has F1 pundit Damon Hill worried after his alarming interview in Abu Dhabi


"Not too much. It's not been a great year in general.

"The fact I survived it [is the biggest positive for him to take]. Probably that's about it."

When asked if Mercedes can reel in Red Bull next term, he added: "At this moment, I don't really know.

"For Red Bull to win by 17 seconds and they haven't developed their car since August is definitely a concern.

"We have learned a lot about the car and it's just down to the team now.

"They know what they need to do. Whether or not we will get there, we will see."

And Sky Sports pundit Hill has now admitted he's concerned about Hamilton and his mentality now the season is over.

"I mean Lewis is often like that after a race that has not delivered what he wanted,” he said.

“George [Russell] managed to get something out of this weekend, he had a difficult time.

"It’s been a long hard year, he’ll bounce back after that.

“But the worrying thing is when Rachel [Brookes] asked him about hope on what’s coming, he wasn’t effervescent about it.

"I think on reflection I’m sure they will come back, they’ve got to have learnt something from the last two seasons."

While Hamilton was pessimistic, Toto Wolff feels the future is bright for Mercedes.

He does concede, however, that this is a defining moment for the team as they look to close the gap next term.

“Red Bull started the [current set of] regulations last season with a massive advantage and they have been able to maintain it,” Wolff said.

“We have a lot of respect for their achievement, from the engineering side, and the driver side, and beating them under these regulations [which last until 2026] is against the odds. That is clear.

“But we have seen with McLaren, where an update unlocked a second of time, there is a key to unlocking dramatically more performance.

“We had to be honest that this car was never going to be good enough to fight for a world championship.

"We took the decision in April to go back to the drawing board and come up with something new next year.

"But Mount Everest is in front of us.


F1 Max Verstappen

Lewis Hamilton fears he'll be unable to reel in F1 rival Max Verstappen next season


“We are changing the concept. We are completely moving away from how we lay out the chassis, the weight distribution, the airflow, literally every component has been changed because only by doing that do we have a chance [of beating Red Bull].

“You could get it wrong also. Everything is possible.

"There is always scepticism. But that is the mentality in the team that pushes us forward, to never give up.”

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