Lewis Hamilton makes surprising comment about 2022 season

Mercedes' eight-year Constructors' Championship domination ended in emphatic fashion, as the Germans slumped to third.

Lewis Hamilton has admitted that he felt more “internal strength” in 2022 than “many other years”, with Mercedes having endured their toughest season of the hybrid era to-date.

The seven-time World Champion is used to fighting for pole positions and victories on a Grand Prix basis, let alone third row starts and top-five finishes.

Nobody at the Silver Arrows could’ve predicted just how challenging 2022 would be, with the Germans having made somewhat of a mess of the new aerodynamic regulations.

Mercedes’ porpoising woes cost considerable performance in the first half of the season, resulting in them having to make a late comeback towards the end of the year.

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It is truly remarkable that the statistical greatest driver of all-time failed to claim either a pole position or a victory in 2022, with his best results having been several second-place finishes.

Whilst many would label their season as a catastrophe, given that George Russell’s win at the Brazilian Grand Prix was their only success of 2022, Mercedes boss Toto Wolff has actually hailed this year as the team’s most important.

Hamilton somewhat agrees with this but also recognises that Mercedes have endured challenging periods before; however, the 37-year-old is quick to add that winning in the future will be appreciated with a “different gratitude”.

“If you look back at the team’s entire history, it was here a long time before Toto and I joined and they had some really difficult years,” Hamilton explained.

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“Some of the people have been here for over 20 years and really been through the thick of it. I would say for our current team, in terms of the last 10 years, this has been the toughest year for everyone along with the most strengthening.

“There has been so much resistance, so much we have been up against, and I am thankful that we have.

“There are many people working here, along with many new people in the team, and this experience has been good for them too.

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“When we win, there is a different gratitude now because it happened so often before.

“It’s been a very hard year for everyone. For me, it’s been challenging in ways that I wasn’t expecting, but I am incredibly grateful for that.

“I have felt more growth this year as a man, in terms of internal strength, than I have in many other years.”