Lewis Hamilton signed off winless 2022 with a DNF on penultimate lap at Yas Marina; “I hope that the struggles this year really provide us with the tools and the strengths to fight for many more championships moving forward,” he said.

Lewis Hamilton says he hopes a difficult Formula 1 season gives Mercedes the “strength” to fight for championships in the future, as the Englishman signed off 2022 with a race retirement at the Abu Dhabi GP.

Mercedes, who came into the season as reigning eight-time champions but finished it third in the standings, struggled for pace in Yas Marina’s season finale and Hamilton then suffered a hydraulics issue on the penultimate lap.
That mechanical failure duly finished off the first winless season of Hamilton’s trophy-laden 16-year F1 career.

Lewis Hamilton, though, says he and the team can take the positives from 2022.

“These next couple of weeks, we’ll be back at the factory, we’ll get to see everybody, and while we’re not celebrating a world championship, we’ll be celebrating them still for their hard work and efforts,” Hamilton, who was running fourth before his DNF, told Sky Sports F1.

“I hope that the struggles this year really provide us with the tools and the strengths to fight for many more championships moving forward.”

Mercedes fell back this year after the sweeping regulation changes.

“Ultimately I think we started with a car that we didn’t want and we finished with a car that we didn’t want, but we were basically stuck with it,” said Hamilton. “We just kept trundling away, working away at improving it but I think the fundamentals have still been there all the way to the end, as you saw this weekend.

“I think it’s been more of a team-building exercise this year, and I’m very, very proud and so grateful to everybody, who have just continued to push.”

The 2022 season wasn’t just winless for Hamilton; a sixth-placed finish in the championship was also his lowest ever.
Hamilton had an eventful race from start to finish in Abu Dhabi, with a first-lap tangle with Carlos Sainz that appeared to lead to damage to his car. George Russell also struggled, and picked up a five-second time penalty on his way to fifth place.

“That was really not good,” admitted team boss Toto Wolff. “All the mistakes you can make. A car that was not at the pace it should have been. Third quickest today – one car breaking down and the other one running out of tyres.

“It was a precise summary of the season, and here we are.”

Wolff, like Hamilton, said he would not miss the W13 car.

“First of all we’re going to put these cars in reception at Brackley and Bricksworth, to remind us every single day how difficult it can be,” he added.

“It’s raw, it’s bad and it’s OK to feel like this, but next year we are back.”

Russell, meanwhile, called the Abu Dhabi finale a “reality check” for Mercedes, who will hope to bounce back next year and battle against world champions Red Bull and a resurgent Ferrari.

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