David Coulthard adamant Lewis Hamilton isn’t performing ‘at his prime’

Despite claiming third in the standings, Lewis Hamilton finished on the podium three times fewer than he did in 2022.

Ex-Formula 1 driver David Coulthard believes Lewis Hamilton isn’t currently performing “at his prime”, with the Scotsman now wondering what’ll happen should he be given a “winning car again”.

2022 and 2023 have been two frustrating years for Hamilton with little to write home about, as he’s now gone two seasons without a victory.

His most recent win remains as the 2021 Saudi Arabian Grand Prix, where he famously collided with Max Verstappen multiple times in what was the penultimate race of that campaign.

The seven-time World Champion did at least manage to claim one pole position this year, something he failed to achieve in 2022.

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His pole position came at the Hungarian Grand Prix; however, he failed to convert it into a podium.

Whilst Hamilton did secure third in the Drivers’ Championship this year and finish ahead of George Russell, the 38-year-old actually featured on the podium three times less than he managed in 2022.

This is despite having a slightly better car for the vast majority of this campaign, although it was just as inconsistent as the W13.

His race pace on the whole has actually been very good this year, with him having often been able to carve his way through the field.

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What’s let him down is his qualifying performances, which have been below-par for the 104-time pole sitter.

He also made several uncharacteristic mistakes, suggesting that like Coulthard believes, Hamilton isn’t currently at his best.

Neither are Mercedes, but it does make Coulthard now question what’ll happen when the Silver Arrows do have the fastest car again and whether Hamilton will be able to “rediscover” his “old Lewis magic”.

“This is not Lewis at his prime,” Coulthard said on Channel 4. “This is Lewis in a very frustrating two-year state of underperforming.

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“When he gets a winning car again, it’ll be really interesting to see if he can rediscover the old Lewis magic.”

The Stevenage-born driver has decided to remain with Mercedes for at least another two seasons despite their current issues.

Mercedes are hopeful that some of these issues will be fixed come the start of 2024, when they introduce an entirely new concept.