Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton has said that the 2022 Formula One campaign has been a ‘beautiful experience’ despite struggling on the track.
Following the overhaul of car design between 2021 and the current season, Mercedes struggled initially with the porpoising phenomenon and then with pace, and recorded just one Grand Prix win - last week at Sao Paulo, for his team-mate George Russell.
However the seven-time world champion has said that he is thankful for the experience following the disappointment of the defeat in the 2021 Abu Dhabi to Max Verstappen, and tries to keep his own disappointment in perspective.
Abu Dhabi Grand Prix
Verstappen aiming for F1 title hat-trick - 'Really good motivation'
20/11/2022 AT 18:23
“If I’m really honest, since I’ve been in my room, getting my head down in preparation, there are so many people who are having difficult times, having way, way worse times, or are struggling,” he told Sky Sports. “It could be so, so much worse, and it’s just always being grateful for a new day, a new chance to do better.
“I was definitely not expediting what would come after. The amazing support from fans of the sport and particularly my fans, and the general love I have experienced through the year has got me through the year, if I’m honest.”
Nevertheless, he admits that it has been frustrating to fight further back in the pack for much of the year.
He continued: “With the challenge of coming back, wanting to fight back and not being able to challenge with the car that we have.
“On the same weekend, even though you’re finishing sixth, the amazing support we’ve had. Bigger crowds than we’ve had before, as a team we’ve experienced more love and affection than ever before and I think it’s been really beautiful to see.
“I know some people struggle to accept love, and I know I’ve been like that for a long time, so this year was one I was able to open up. It was a beautiful experience so I’m really grateful for that.
“It was not easy, I think it’s more the big ugly number one [on Verstappen’s Red Bull] I’m kidding! I’m not really fazed by these things. I think people expect a reaction but I’m chilled. Of course I would have loved to have been at the forefront, battling, but it’s been an interesting journey seeing what they’re going through. Whatever negative feeling, I try to brush it aside.”
Abu Dhabi Grand Prix
Ricciardo confirms he is ‘highly likely’ to join Red Bull
20/11/2022 AT 16:59
Abu Dhabi Grand Prix
Wolff disconsolate again as Hamilton retires in Abu Dhabi - 'It's raw, it's bad'
20/11/2022 AT 16:37