‘Even more powerful’: Lewis Hamilton makes surprising remark about Mercedes’ 2022 failure

Lewis Hamilton's record of winning a race every season ended in 2022, as George Russell won Mercedes' only grand prix of the year.

Given all the success he’s enjoyed in Formula 1, 2022 was perhaps the biggest wake-up call of Lewis Hamilton’s 16-year career in the sport.

The seven-time World Champion has tasted victory 103 times in Formula 1, since making his debut for McLaren back in 2007.

Despite that, the 37-year-old admits that “fifth place” felt “like a win” at times this season, following a horrendous campaign for Mercedes.

Having enjoyed so much domination throughout the hybrid era, what unfolded in 2022 must have come as a huge shock to the Germans, who are used to battling for wins, not top fives.

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As a result of their porpoising issue, though, that was the situation they found themselves in for the bulk of the year, meaning Hamilton was quickly ruled out of title contention.

Despite all the struggles, the Stevenage-born driver believes the team have felt “even more powerful” from overcoming their issues this season, than they did when reigning supreme in the standings.

“There have been so many scenarios like that this year where I think that honestly, the journey has been the most important part and this year, we are winners this year, to me,” Hamilton said prior to the Brazilian Grand Prix.

“Obviously, not in how it is seen outside in terms of numbers, but I feel everyone in the team this year is a winner.

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“They’ve all dug so deep, they’ve given absolutely everything. Nobody has given up and everyone has overcome whatever emotions they have had of not being at the forefront. I’m really proud of everybody.

“So that, for me, is even more powerful than winning every single race.”

As well as missing out on a victory and a pole position for the first season in his F1 career, Hamilton also ended the year sixth in the Drivers’ Championship.

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This is the lowest he’s ever finished in the sport, making it no surprise that just managing a top five result left the Brackley-based team feeling “so elated”.

“No, because honestly, I’ve felt so many times throughout the year, there have been so many experiences where I’ve felt like we’ve won,” he added.

“Getting a fourth place, a fifth place or finally getting that podium, in those moments, we were all so elated that it almost felt like a win.”