2022 is finally over for Lewis Hamilton, as the seven-time World Champion completed his final laps in the dreary W13 in the post-season test.
The Yas Marina Circuit hasn’t been kind to the 37-year-old for consecutive seasons now, with the venue having ended the worst season in the British driver’s career.
In 2021, Hamilton cruelly lost an unprecedented eighth World Championship following former race director Michael Masi making a ‘human error’, as deemed by the FIA.
The Mercedes driver then endured a woeful race at the circuit again last Sunday, where he had to deal with a lack of power in the opening stages of the race before suffering what appeared to be a hydraulic issue.
Hamilton’s issue resulted in the Germans first technical retirement of the season, wrapping up the driver’s terrible year.
Hamilton not only ended the year in sixth spot, the lowest in his career, but he also failed to win a race for the first time.
The British driver has been very vocal about being pleased to say goodbye to the W13, with the driver having even joked that he might pull a “sickie” to miss the post-season test.
“I might be calling a sickie, [pain in] my back or something,” Hamilton joked.
He did end up driving briefly in the test but ended it in P17, whilst team-mate George Russell was 23rd out of the 24 drivers who took part.
Speaking after the race on Sunday, Mercedes boss Toto Wolff also seemed more than ready to stop using the W13, after admitting that the cars will be put in “reception” at both of their bases as a reminder of how hard the sport can be.
“First of all, we’re gonna put these cars in reception at Brackley and in Brixworth to remind us every single day how difficult it can be,” Wolff told Sky Sports.
“But thank you everyone, this is a character-building season. Not a blip for a race but a full season. You keep pushing so hard, the engine came along really well and I’m proud of what we achieved there.
“On the chassis side there were more bad moments than good ones but the good ones were spectacular like a week ago (Russell’s win in Brazil). It made us feel how good it can be and now we’re just pushing forward for next year. It’s raw, it’s bad and it’s okay to feel like this but next year we are back.”