‘Breaking down egos’: Lewis Hamilton opens up on failed Mercedes upgrades

Lewis Hamilton ended the 2022 season in his lowest ever position in the Drivers' Championship.

2022 was a challenging year for seven-time World Champion Lewis Hamilton, as the British driver had to adjust to battling for top fives, rather than victories.

This was as a result of Mercedes’ woeful W13, the Germans first challenger of the new aerodynamic regulations.

For the first part of the season, the Brackley-based outfit couldn’t get any performance from the car, which suffered from horrific porpoising.

However, as the season went on the car got much faster, to the point where they could challenge Red Bull and Ferrari.

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The Silver Arrows ended the year with a victory at the Brazilian Grand Prix, something that was claimed by George Russell.

Looking back on the testing campaign, which saw Hamilton fail to claim either a podium or a victory, the 37-year-old labelled his team’s comeback as “impressive” and admits that he “knew” the Germans could make the W13 work.

“It’s been impressive, for sure,” Hamilton said.

“I always knew that we could do it. I never doubted that we would get there in the end, but there was lots of trial and error, and so much failure this year. 

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“There were times we brought upgrades and they didn’t work, and times we tried different things and it didn’t work.

“I tried so many things and failed so many times but through that you learn and grow. That’s what it’s been about this year. 

“It’s been about failure, breaking down egos, strengthening our relationships, and strengthening our communications. From that perspective it’s been really empowering.”

The Spanish Grand Prix was the first time where the W13 looked like a podium contender, with both Russell and Hamilton having demonstrated very strong pace at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya.

At the following rounds, though, the car’s pace varied, with it being labelled understandably as a ‘diva’.

For Hamilton, the Spanish GP was the first time when he sensed that the car had “more potential”, but that at times during the year it felt like he was joined by a “ghost” in the cockpit.

“The first big step was Barcelona, that was our first hint of there being more potential in the car,” Hamilton said.

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“It turned out to be a bit of a false positive; the car was good there but then the races afterwards were difficult.

“It was like a ghost was in the car and it kept coming back. But then there was France and that felt like a good step with our first double podium of the season.

“And then there was Austin, too, with the update we had working well.”