2022 was certainly not the season Lewis Hamilton would’ve hoped for as he entered yet another season in Formula 1, especially after being ‘robbed’ in the “manipulated” 2021 season finale.
Hamilton infamously lost the 2021 Drivers’ Championship on the last lap of the race, as a result of former race director Michael Masi making what was judged by the FIA as a ‘human error’.
Many predicted him to bounce back emphatically this season; however, due to the woeful W13 this was impossible.
Instead, Hamilton’s fierce 2021 rival Max Verstappen effectively cruised to the 2022 crown and a second consecutive title with ease.
The 37-year-old joked that he hated seeing Verstappen’s “big ugly number one”, but that he just wishes he’d have been able to have fought and battled with the Dutchman.
“It was definitely not easy,” Hamilton told Channel 4.
“I think it’s more the big ugly number one, as big as you can put it on the car. Nah, I’m kidding.
“I’m not as phased as much as some people like to think. They will say things to do things looking for a reaction but I really just am chill. I don’t really care about those things.
“Of course, I’d have loved to have been at the forefront fighting and battling with them, but it’s been an interesting journey seeing what they’ve been going through. It’s been interesting.”
The past season was truly one that Hamilton can’t compare anything too, given just how bad the W13 was.
Some questioned if he’d even retire at the end of the year due to it looking like Mercedes’ time at the front was done; however, the 103-time GP winner persevered with the Germans.
Interestingly, Hamilton has shared his eagerness to extend his current deal beyond 2023, with a new deal set to be signed over the winter, according to Toto Wolff.
The British driver shared that his fans really helped him throughout his worst season in the sport, and that he experienced more “love and affection than ever before”.
“I was definitely not expecting what would come after, in terms of the amazing support from fans of the sport, but particularly my fans,” admitted the Stevenage-born driver.
“The general love I have experienced through the year, which I think has got me through the year.
“With the challenge of coming back in, wanting to fight back and not being able to fight back with the car we’ve had. We’ve experienced more love and affection than ever before.”