Lewis Hamilton appreciates achievements even more now after 2022 struggles

Lewis Hamilton smiles. Mexico City, Mexico. October 2022. Credit: Alamy
Lewis Hamilton smiles. Mexico City, Mexico. October 2022. Credit: Alamy

Lewis Hamilton said that following Mercedes’ struggles in 2022, he has found himself appreciating achievements more than he did in the past.

The 2022 season was an outlier in the F1 career of Hamilton with the seven-time World Champion having previously won at least one race in every season he competed, yet he failed to do so last campaign with five P2 finishes representing his best results.

It is not a situation that Hamilton has all too often found himself in. Even before his Formula 1 career began, his last winless campaign came back in 2001 in his final year of karting.

Given he has seven World Championships in the bag, it is unlikely the 37-year-old will lose too many night’s sleep over 2022 but he has said that the new look on a season has given him a better appreciation of his and the team’s achievements.

“It definitely doesn’t demotivate me,” he told Sport Bild on the 2022 troubles. “I’m sure I’ve had seasons without wins before – it must have been 2001 in karting.

“Last season, of course, we wanted to fight for the World Championship, but we had to acknowledge the reality early in the season. Some results still felt like victories, even if they weren’t.

“We had so many successes before that it felt a bit empty. We won, but it was already expected. It’s strange because it’s actually such a great thing. So it was even nicer to see how happy we were about the small stages.

“We were fighting for fifth place and everyone was excited. Then we went for fourth place and everyone was totally excited. That was a nice experience, to be so happy even about a fourth or fifth place. Also the feeling of fighting your way forward, to have the first third or second place, to feel: we are almost there. That is something we all needed.

“I appreciate successes much more now. After the Brazil race, when George Russell won and I came second, I was incredibly happy about that team performance.”

Hamilton said the end of season has provided him and Mercedes with “great hope” that they can return to the sport’s summit and that despite the difficulties, 2022 was not a disappointment for him.

“I know how hard it is to be on top and to stay there,” Hamilton said. “We want to get back to the top. What gives us great hope is the end of this season. The last races have shown a clear positive trend and prove that with perseverance we can achieve anything.

“[The car and I] got on better and better as the season went on, the whole team worked great together – even better than before. The year was definitely not a disappointment for me.”

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