Lewis Hamilton has had a peculiar season. An implausible podium finish in Bahrain was accompanied by a tenth-place finish in Saudi Arabia. In Spain, he produced one of his career-best drives to move from the back of the pack to fifth place, but his long-term prospects in the motorsport has been brought into question especially with the rise of his younger teammate George Russell.
Hamilton’s status as the sport’s main star is indisputable. Even if the younger generation of drivers such as Russell, Max Verstappen, and Charles Leclerc appear to be fulfilling their much-touted potency, Hamilton remains the sport’s biggest and most influential figure. Despite this, he claims he does not feel like a pioneer at Mercedes and that he and Russell work just as hard as the rest of the team.
A combined question was presented to Russell and Hamilton at a press conference ahead of the Spanish Grand Prix, and Russell was inquired what characteristics he saw in Hamilton as a leader. Hamilton was the first to react, and he rebuffed being the leader. “Well, firstly, I wouldn’t say I’m the leader. George and I work equally hard together, I would say, to help drive the team and row just as hard as everyone else in the team,” said the 7-time F1 world champion.
“I still love the challenge even if it’s not fighting for wins” : Lewis Hamilton
The 37-year-old British driver went on to talk about how through adversities and challenges, one learns more about oneself regarding how they deal with things, how they reflect on things, and how they turn those negatives into positives effectively. “I wouldn’t say I’ve learned particularly much more, so I will say past experiences have helped during this phase. And I would say to just reassuring the strength I know I have mentally,” added Hamilton.
“Also, just reassuring us I still love my job, I still love the challenge even if it’s not fighting for wins. I’m still enjoying this battle we are having internally in terms of trying to, with the car I mean, trying to chase down these other guys,” said Lewis Hamilton. Russell quickly responded, calling Hamilton’s approach to getting the most out of the squad “inspiring.”
Great work at the #SpanishGP, @MercedesAMGF1! 🙌😎 @GeorgeRussell63 secured his second podium of the season, finishing P3. @LewisHamilton completed a remarkable recovery drive, after suffering a puncture in the opening lap, up to P5, matching the leaders for race pace. 👏 pic.twitter.com/hhiQtb5uBl
— Mercedes-AMG Motorsport (@amgmotorsport) May 23, 2022
George Russell went on to praise the “relentless” nature of work displayed by teammate Hamilton, team principal Toto Wolff and the others at the Mercedes headquarters. He further lauded them for always striving for more, never being complacent and pulling themselves together at the end of the day to resolve the problems that they have in hand. “So I think I’m in a really privileged position to be team-mates with Lewis and be part of Mercedes,” concluded the 24-year-old driver.