Lewis Hamilton makes excuse for being slower than George Russell

Lewis Hamilton finished sixth in the 2022 drivers’ standings, failing to win a race in a season for the first time in his Formula 1 career.

Mercedes will be looking to swiftly move on from the 2022 season, after their failure to take advantage of the major regulation changes at the start of the year ended with the team finishing third in the constructors’ championship.

While Red Bull and Ferrari took strides forward at the beginning of F1’s new era, Mercedes chose the completely wrong development path, leading to a lack of performance and a severe porpoising issue.

It took the Silver Arrows until the United States Grand Prix in Austin to truly be able to compete for race wins and their first and only victory came in Brazil, courtesy of George Russell.

Lewis Hamilton was outscored by his new teammate as Russell managed to extract consistent top five finishes from the uncompetitive W13 in the early stages of the season.

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The 37-year-old has now revealed that his inability to match Russel at the start of the year were down to Mercedes’ trial and error approach, which would often see Hamilton use more experimental setups in order to provide the team with more data.

“The whole idea of performing at your best and getting the best result each weekend; of course that would be nice,” said Hamilton.

“But I was really about problem solving: ‘I will sacrifice this session or all the sessions to be able to find out more data and information for you.’

“[This is] so that when we go back to the factory they’ve got a better understanding of what’s going on. But it ultimately hindered some of the weekends.”

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Mercedes have already fired up the W14 for the first time ahead of the 2023 season, as was shown off on the team’s social media channels, showing that preparations are well underway for a return to the top in 2023.

Red Bull will have significantly less testing time than Mercedes this year, not only because they won the constructors’ championship but also because their allocation has been cut by ten percent as punishment for breaching the 2021 cost cap.

This means that there may be no better opportunity for the Silver Arrows to bring the constructors’ title back to Brackley after a short stay in Milton Keynes.