Mercedes director states Lewis Hamilton ‘does not have off days’: “If our car isn’t quick enough, it’s because we screwed up"
Mercedes' technical director James Allison feels that it was the team's fault that Lewis Hamilton failed to have a good 2023 F1 season. He doesn't think the seven-time champion is having a tough time as far as his own performance is concerned.
The 2021 Saudi Arabian GP was the last time that Hamilton crossed the finish line victorious in F1. He then lost the final race of the season at Abu Dhabi and with it, the chance to win his eighth world title.
Since then, Hamilton has been on the quest to win another title, but with a team that is no longer as dominant as it was for almost a decade.
It has been speculated that Lewis Hamilton is struggling with performance issues, but the Mercedes crew disagrees. James Allison stated on the Controls podcast that it was an issue with the car and not with their driver's skills.
"We also know if our car isn't quick enough, it's not because he's (Lewis Hamilton) having an off day, because he doesn't have off days. It's because we screwed up."
While Hamilton has remained winless for two seasons straight, Mercedes themselves have won just a single race since then. The 2022 Brazilian GP, where George Russell emerged victorious, was their last triumph.
Despite their loss in performance, Mercedes finished second in the world championship in 2023, holding off Ferrari.
Lewis Hamilton faced brake issues with the car in Abu Dhabi
Lewis Hamilton could only finish P9 in the final race of the season in Abu Dhabi. While it was enough for the team to finish second in the standings (because of Russell's P3), the issues that the Brit faced in the race could impact the development of the future car.
A statement from the team revealed that Hamilton faced an issue with the brake throughout the length of the race, which was a major reason why he almost finished out of points.
"Lewis was managing brake issues throughout the race, which was a real reliability concern. So, our number one priority was making sure that we got that car to the finish and didn't have to retire it," The Mirror quoted Mercedes' Rosie Wait.
Mercedes' pace was unpredictable in the season. While Lewis Hamilton was able to pull in a handful of podiums mid-season, the drop in performance was very apparent during the final races.
He could only qualify P12 at Yas Marina and barely made it into the points. Needless to say, the team would be hoping to achieve more with their future car.