Lewis Hamilton doubts addressed by Mercedes with ‘compulsive’ claim

Henry Valantine
Lewis Hamilton walks down stairs. Baku April 2023.

Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton has now gone two years without a victory in F1.

Mercedes technical director James Allison has said the “compulsive need to win” is a “core part” of Lewis Hamilton and his identity.

The seven-time World Champion endured his first ever season without a win in Formula 1 in 2022 as Mercedes struggled to adapt to the sport’s sweeping regulation changes, and the dominance of Red Bull and Max Verstappen prevented Hamilton from taking to the top step again in 2023.

Hamilton signed a fresh two-year contract last season to take his F1 stint through until 2025, and Allison has stated that the Briton’s motivation to succeed is as high as ever.

Mercedes: Lewis Hamilton has ‘inescapable’ need to win

Work is going apace on the W15 prior to its launch in February as the 2024 season approaches, with Mercedes and Hamilton looking to get back to winning ways together.

When asked about Hamilton’s state of mind and his motivation heading into the new year, Allison admitted that the seven-time World Champion’s ability to win will be largely dependent on what the team give him to work with – but if they can provide him a competitive car, the wins should likely follow.

“I think you’d struggle to find a driver anywhere in the grid that wasn’t motivated,” Allison said, as quoted by Motorsport.com.

“I think that sort of comes with the territory with them. And generally speaking, the more successful the drivers have been, the more sort of inescapable that compulsive need to win is.

“In Lewis’ case, it’s just a core part of who he is, so there’s no doubt about his motivation to get back to winning ways.

“But whether or not he can do that, will be much more in the hands of the equipment we’ve given him than in his own hands. He’s always had that ability there.”

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Mercedes secured second place in the Constructors’ Championship in 2023, but the enormous gap in performance to Red Bull is one that the team will have to close down with stable regulations.

Hamilton admitted himself that his first drive of his car made him feel like it would not be a title-winner, but he spoke glowingly about how his team stuck together throughout the year.

He explained at the FIA’s Prize Giving Gala in December: “From the moment we started driving the car at Silverstone realising that we’re probably not be fighting for a championship, and then just refocusing and resetting your goals and then working towards catching up, I think it’s just really pleasing to see that we never gave up, and no-one in the team gave up.

“Everyone stayed positive, just how everyone showed up was super encouraging for me.

“Also, I think we’re always learning more about just appreciating the moment, appreciating each and every single individual in the team and those results we’re getting.

“When we finally get a podium, we appreciate it perhaps more than ever before, and I think obviously Budapest was the highlight. A track that I love and to somehow dethrone the Red Bulls for a single moment gave us a lot of hope, and knowing that we if we just keep pushing we may get there.”

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