Lewis Hamilton’s grim F1 2024 verdict: “The worst start to a season I’ve ever had”

Lewis Hamilton admits 2024 has been his "worst ever" start to an F1 season.

Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1. Formula 1 World Championship, Rd 2, Saudi Arabian Grand Prix, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia,
Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1. Formula 1 World Championship, Rd 2,…

Lewis Hamilton has declared that 2024 has been his “worst start” to an F1 season ever after failing to finish the Australian Grand Prix.

The seven-time world champion retired with an engine problem during the early stages of Sunday’s race in Melbourne, compounding what was a miserable weekend for him and his Mercedes team.

Hamilton had already suffered his worst qualifying result in Australia since 2010 prior to his DNF, which followed seven and ninth-place finishes at the opening two rounds in Bahrain and Saudi Arabia.

The 39-year-old Briton has scored just eight points across the opening three rounds and sits ninth in the drivers’ championship.

Hamilton believes things are even worse than in 2009 when McLaren made a terrible start to the campaign.

“I mean, this is the worst start to season I’ve ever had,” Hamilton conceded.

When asked if it has been worse than 2022 and 2023, Hamilton replied: “Oh, yeah, for sure,” before adding: “And it’s worse than 2009 I think.”

But Hamilton insists he is trying to remain upbeat about the situation.

Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 W15. Formula 1 World Championship, Rd 3, Australian Grand Prix, Albert Park,
Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 W15. Formula 1 World Championship, Rd…

“Surprisingly I feel pretty good. I think I’m trying to keep things in perspective, you know?” Hamilton said.

“It could be so much worse, I’m really grateful and have really enjoyed my time here in Australia.

“I’m still enjoying working with the team, of course I’d love to be fighting for wins and finishing races.

“It’s never a great feeling when you come all this way and don’t even see half of the race, but what I know is that we will bounce back and will get there, we just have to chip away at it.”

To rub salt into Mercedes’ wounds, George Russell also failed to see the chequered flag as he crashed out of seventh place on the final lap.

Mercedes hoped they would enter the season fighting for podiums and wins with their revamped W15, which has so far finished no higher than fifth.

“I think it’s tough on the spirit,” Hamilton admitted.

“I think for everyone in the team, when so much work is going on throughout the winter for everybody, you come in excited, motivated and driven, and then you’re with the mindset that you’re going to be fighting for wins.

“And then obviously that’s not the case. And then you’re like, ‘Okay, maybe second, third’. No, it’s not the case, and it cascades a bit further down. And you just go through the motions. It’s challenging.

“But I continue to be inspired by the people I’ve worked with. They continue to put in the effort and show up and that’s the most important thing.”

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