Mercedes had huge problems this season. In rare moments, it looked like they were getting back on track. In the very next moment, Mercedes would continue as before. This caused frustration, both among the drivers and among the entire team.
Lewis Hamilton expected much more. However, before the start of the season, he was careful and knew that optimism within the team does not necessarily mean that they will have a car that can do great things. "I remember it feeling exactly the same.
And that definitely was not a great feeling. I really had high hopes,” Hamilton said to BBC. "In February, when we do a download of where the car is going, I was a little more apprehensive, because the previous year it was like: 'The car is amazing, it's unique, no-one's going to have anything like it.'
And then we get to the first test… So, I was a little bit more cautious when I was listening, and I was like: 'We will see.' And then the car had all these problems. I just knew it was going to be a long year. I'm sure there were frustrations, because I had asked for certain changes, and they weren't done.
No-one knew exactly what the problem was. No-one knew how to fix it”.
Last season experience
The experience from last season was crucial for him not to panic in those moments. He tried to stay calm and believe in himself.
It turned out to be a good move. Hamilton encouraged optimism, especially in the second part of the season, and did not want to express negativity. "Having the experience of the previous year, I just applied myself, in terms of digging down, sitting with the guys.
We were having much better meetings,” he continued. "I was able to stay a lot more positive during the year and be like: 'It's going to be a long season, but let's not give up. Let's keep pushing towards getting the maximum out of the car, whatever that may be.'
” Lewis admitted that he was quite frustrated in February because he expected his team to offer much more. "I think for this year they thought: 'The fundamentals are good and we just have to go here.' And it was not the case. That's why I was frustrated in February, because they hadn't made the changes I'd asked for."