Lewis Hamilton subject of fierce comments with F1 plan drawn up after difficult season

Lewis Hamilton F1 news

Lewis Hamilton struggled in F1 this season with the Stevenage-born racer finishing ninth

Jack Otway

By Jack Otway

Published: 28/11/2023

- 09:20

The 38-year-old struggled in the sport this season, with Max Verstappen and Sergio Perez finishing ahead of him in the driver standings

Toto Wolff has fiercely claimed Lewis Hamilton is capable of winning a record eighth F1 title - despite his difficulties this season.

The Mercedes star finished third in the driver standings, behind only Max Verstappen and Sergio Perez.

Yet Hamilton failed to win a single race for the second campaign in a row.

With Verstappen dominating the sport, having won 19 races this term, many expect him to continue to shine in the coming years ahead.

Lewis Hamilton Toto Wolff

Lewis Hamilton has been fiercely defended by Toto Wolff amid his issues in F1 this season


Yet Wolff has fiercely defended Hamilton and revealed Mercedes plan to create a car that will boost his chances of a record eighth crown.

"From Lewis's perspective, he had a bad weekend," he said after Sunday's Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.

"That doesn't do anything about him being the greatest driver in the world, and if we are able to give him a car, then he will be fighting for a World Championship. I have no doubt.

"It is clear that when you have a Formula 1 car like we have now, you will never lead with it and have good and bad weekends.

"But at the end, every time when we've seen that Lewis has somebody as a target in front of him, and it was about winning the race, then the real Lewis comes alive.

"We just need to give him a car, that is the first thing.

"The second thing is that we have a board in our factory showing all the Constructors' World Championship titles since 1958, and the table goes until 2050.

"We have the badges for each of the years, and there are 27 empty badges, and I would like to look back in 20 years and say there are many more Mercedes stars.

"I hate retrospective views, but when we look back in 10 or 20 years and we consider the decade that we've had [since 2013], it will read second, first, first, first, first, first, first, first, first, third, second.

"When you look back at it from that perspective, you kind of say: 'That was okay,' but from a microview, there's one guy who won 19 races [in 2023], and that is not good enough [from us]."

Hamilton is now planning to recharge his batteries.

The F1 star admitted before Sunday's race in Abu Dhabi that he'd been left 'emotionally drained' due to the war in the Middle East.

Hamilton signed a new deal with Mercedes earlier in the year, one that ties him to the team until 2025.

Yet while the talent clearly remains, the fact he's approaching the twilight years of his career doesn't bode well.

Hamilton was alarmingly downbeat on Sunday after finishing ninth in Abu Dhabi, a grid he's won on five times in the past.

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

"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."

And the Stevenage-born racer was negative when asked if Mercedes can close the gap on Red Bull next term.

"At this moment, I don't really know," he admitted.


Lewis Hamilton F1

Lewis Hamilton plans to recharge his batteries after a tricky F1 season


"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."

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