Mercedes Formula 1 boss Toto Wolff believes Lewis Hamilton has continued to step up his performances every year since joining the team. 

Hamilton wrapped up his sixth world title - and fifth with Mercedes -  in 2019 and rounded out his latest title-winning campaign with his 11th victory of the year at last weekend’s finale in Abu Dhabi

The Briton ended the campaign with the highest-ever points total in the history of the championship (413), finishing 87 points clear of Mercedes teammate Valtteri Bottas, who won four races. 

“I think I have seen him stepping up every single season,” Wolff said. 

“There is the next generation coming up and putting in strong performances and Valtteri has been going very strong, so the way the car drives, this 2019 car, I think he needed to adapt a little bit. 

“It’s not always a car that is perfect for him, so I think generally, as in any sport, it is about adaptability and we have shown he has done this really well this year.”

Hamilton also ended a four-month drought without a pole position in Abu Dhabi as he topped qualifying for the first time since July’s German Grand Prix. 

Despite qualifying traditionally being an area Hamilton excels in, he admitted he has struggled to extract the full potential from Mercedes’ W10 at times this year, meaning he only picked up five totals across the season - the same tally as Bottas. 

“I don’t think my qualifying has been terrible but it’s just not been at my usual standard perhaps,” he explained. 

“It’s not been the easiest in terms of qualifying for us throughout the year. It’s been something we’ve just been chipping away at. 

“It’s been really hard, particularly since we have come back from the break. The competition has been spectacular; all drivers have been doing an amazing job.

“Of course it’s incredibly satisfying to know that we have put the work and to end my last qualifying session with this car, which has been a real incredible journey this year, so to finish it off on the front row, there’s not a better feeling really.” 

 

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