Lewis Hamilton mindset assessed after ‘sh*t happens’ conclusion in China

Michelle Foster
Lewis Hamilton lowers his helmeted head with a prominent Mercedes logo alongside him

Lewis Hamilton's last season as a Mercedes driver is not exactly going to plan

After he laughed and said “sh*t happens” in China, much has been speculated about Lewis Hamilton’s mindset with the Briton facing a difficult final season with Mercedes.

This year’s championship marks Hamilton’s final year with the team with whom he won six Drivers’ Championship titles and eight Constructors’ crowns as he’s off to Ferrari next year.

How will Lewis Hamilton see out final Mercedes year?

He announced even before pre-season testing, that he’d exercised an option in his latest contract that allows him to leave a year into the two-year deal.

Doing so fewer than six months after signing that contract, a lot has been written by Hamilton’s decision to swap Mercedes for Ferrari.

But while Toto Wolff was quick to deny the Briton had tested the all-new W15 before making his decision, pundits have suggested that Hamilton saw the writing on the wall.

The writing has spelt out another difficult season for Mercedes.

While Ferrari, third behind the Brackley squad, have made inroads into Red Bull’s advantage with the SF-24, Mercedes’ W15 is lagging behind.

At best the fourth fastest car on the track, at worst fifth behind Aston Martin, Mercedes have revealed they’re having correlation issues between the factory and the track.

That’s meant while the W15 has more downforce than its predecessor, it is not translating into lap time.

So much so the team has been left to experiment session by session resulting in a podium for Hamilton in the Sprint in the China being followed by a Q1 exit just hours later in qualifying.

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Hamilton gave a wry laugh at the latter, telling the media: “Sh*t happens.”

That in itself is perplexing from the seven-time World Champion although Powell puts it down to Mercedes’ “puzzling” form leaving everyone, Mercedes and pundits, confused as to what is going on.

Told that Hamilton called it a “rebuilding phase” but questioned as to “how long does that take”, Powell replied to Channel 4: “Well, exactly.”

She continued that given Hamilton had started the Chinese GP on the softs Pirellis, he should have “launched forward at the start but he just couldn’t switch them on.

“So it’s so puzzling with Mercedes at the moment.

“I can’t say that he’ll be desperately trying to get over to Ferrari because I think Lewis owes a lot to Mercedes and he’s quite public in saying that, he’s won a lot of championships with them, so he’ll still be working hard but he’ll be hugely disappointed.

“I still can’t put my finger on what’s going on at Mercedes because a good Sprint race for Lewis and then all of a sudden there’s all change for the rest of the weekend.

“It’s bizarre, and I’m sure they’re quite puzzled as well.”

Toto Wolff, though, has called Hamilton a “pro” and believes that’s the attitude he will have through to his Mercedes chequered flag

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