Lewis Hamilton Frustration Building With Ongoing Struggles At Mercedes

Lewis Hamilton
Lewis Hamilton

Lewis Hamilton is “done” with his Mercedes, according to former Red Bull driver Robert Doornbos.

After a full two years of struggling in the new ground-effect regulations era, the seven time world champion is not only still grappling with his Mercedes – he has been out-qualified by teammate George Russell 0-3 so far in 2024.

“I can’t really comment on that,” Russell said in Melbourne.

Indeed, Russell may not be on the pace with the all-new silver car, but he says the handling is manageable. Hamilton, on the other hand, is grappling at the wheel.

“I can’t say I’m surprised. I’m disappointed, yes,” the 39-year-old Briton said.

“I wouldn’t say this is one of the most difficult moments,” he said after failing to get through to Q3 in Melbourne. “It’s exactly like the last two years.”

As for how he’s coping with being consistently beaten by his teammate, Hamilton added: “I don’t know if I’m dealing with it that great. I mean, three qualifyings in a row that he’s out-qualified me.

“It’s all difficult to understand.”

Mercedes had confidence that, having dispensed with the problematic 2022-2023 car concept, the new car was at least a stable platform to develop – and mainly slow in the fast corners so far.

“We are too slow everywhere here,” admits team boss Toto Wolff in Melbourne.

“It’s annoying how long I’ve been talking about it but we just need to keep working,” he added. “It’s not because we’re not trying hard enough, but we are where we are.

“It’s an illusion that we can get closer to Red Bull anytime soon,” Wolff admitted. “But I also have to keep believing that there’s more in this car.”

Mercedes won every title between 2014 and 2020 – with Hamilton lifting the world championship in every season except one during that period.

Has the team lost its way?

“The processes are the same as in previous years,” an unnamed Mercedes engineer told Auto Motor und Sport. “They can’t be that wrong, unless the others are suddenly doing everything differently.”

The difference with Red Bull, however, is stark.

“At Red Bull, they know exactly which parameters they need to change in order to be in the car’s sweet spot,” former F1 driver Timo Glock told Sky Deutschland. “That’s the big advantage.”

Another factor is that Hamilton’s loss of faith with Mercedes, demonstrated with his early decision to switch to Ferrari for 2025, might now have resulted in a loss of motivation to turn things around.

“They’ve been messing around with that car for two years,” Doornbos told Ziggo Sport. “I can understand if Lewis is done with it.”

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