Lewis Hamilton will look back at the 2023 F1 season with mixed emotions. On one hand, this was the second season of his career where he could not win a race, on the other hand, this was a season where he performed brilliantly.
The 2022 F1 season was a bit of a shock to the system for Lewis Hamilton last year. For the first time in his career, he didn't have a car that was even capable of fighting for wins let alone the title. The fact that this happened after almost a decade of having the best car on the grid meant Lewis needed some time to reset. The 2023 F1 season was a bit different for the driver in the sense that he was much more prepared this time around. Mercedes' lack of performance didn't come as a major surprise and hence he was able to adapt to everything much better.
Finishing third in the championship and almost finishing second is certainly a decent result from the driver. Having said that, one can't deny that there were a few races where Lewis well and truly struggled. In this feature, we take a look at the three worst races for Lewis Hamilton this season.
Lewis Hamilton's 3 worst performances this season
On the face of it, the race weekend in Austria might not seem to be that bad for Lewis Hamilton. But once you look into it carefully, there were just too many points and missed opportunities left on the table. It all began with the sprint race on Saturday where Lewis was just unable to think on his feet unlike his teammate George Russell.
While Russell was one of the early drivers to make the jump to the intermediates, Lewis took the decision a lap later, resulting in the former finishing in points while the latter didn't.
Even during the race in Austria, when it became clear that the Mercedes was just not up to the mark and that track limits were a concern, Lewis spent the race continuing to complain about the 5-second penalty that he was given. The situation was so adverse that Toto Wolff had to come on the radio to tell Lewis to focus on the race.
Qatar was one of the races where Lewis Hamilton just struggled to keep up with George Russell and it did seemingly play a role in his crash later in the weekend. The weekend started with qualifying where Lewis had a horrendous race in the sprint, although he did manage to qualify in P3 just behind his teammate for the race.
In the sprint, Lewis did make the most of the gamble of starting the race on medium tires as later on in the race he had better tires compared to the drivers around him.
Even though teammate George Russell was on the less optimal strategy with softer tires, he would still end up finishing ahead. The race on Sunday was not ideal as we all remember Lewis Hamilton just turning into his teammate at turn 1 and ending his race.
It was a race weekend where he lacked the pace of his teammate and then made a bad error in judgment.
#1 Abu Dhabi
The race in Abu Dhabi is something that Lewis should be disappointed with because that was the moment where he needed to rise for the team. On the contrary, Lewis took the weekend to put together arguably one of his worst performances of the season.
There have been question marks about the car not being good enough. There have been question marks about one thing going wrong after the other. Having said that, if one driver is fighting tooth and nail for the podium in a race where Mercedes is fighting for P2 in the championship while the second driver is busy trying to overtake an AlphaTauri on the last lap of the season, then that's one race that Lewis will certainly not look back on fondly.