Lewis Hamilton ‘can’t remember winning’ as Mercedes ace opens up | F1 | Sport

Lewis Hamilton admitted during the latest season of Netflix’s Drive to Survive that he ‘can’t remember the winning feeling’ after going two complete seasons without a Grand Prix victory. The seven-time world champion is entering his final campaign with Mercedes, who have radically changed their design philosophy over the winter.

Hamilton claimed his last Grand Prix victory at the penultimate round of the 2021 campaign in Saudi Arabia, beating out Max Verstappen and Valtteri Bottas to take the first-ever race win at the Jeddah Corniche Circuit. That victory moved him level on points with his title rival heading into the ill-fated Abu Dhabi season finale.

After losing his grip on the World Championship in heartbreaking fashion the following week, Hamilton’s misery was compounded when Mercedes arrived at the 2022 opener in Bahrain with a car incapable of fighting Red Bull and Ferrari. Since then the team has won just a single Grand Prix, and that feat was achieved by his team-mate George Russell.

Speaking about his struggles during the latest season of Netflix’s Drive to Survive, Hamilton explained: “I can’t really remember winning, to be honest. It’s been a minute, so I don’t really remember what that feeling is.

“But it is what it is. You just have to take it on the chin and just acknowledge that we did not get it right, we took the wrong decisions and start really making big strides in the right direction before it’s too late.”

Hamilton is right to point out the impact of wrong decisions in the development process. Mercedes opted for a ‘zeropod’ design philosophy in 2022 with their car standing out from the rest of the field, and then doubled down on the idea after they were led astray by Russell’s late-season win at Interlagos.

The Silver Arrows therefore failed to win a single Grand Prix in 2023 with rivals Red Bull dominating the season from start to finish and Ferrari being the only other team to claim a race win.

However, there are some signs of hope for Hamilton and Mercedes heading into their final year together. Earlier this winter, team principal Toto Wolff revealed simulator driver Anthony Davidson’s feedback on the W15, explaining: “He was driving Melbourne [in the sim].

“And he said: ‘The car feels like a car for the first time in two years…’ Obviously, I would love this to correlate to the track but we’ve seen in the last two years that this was not always the case.”

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