Lewis Hamilton justifies ‘additional Mercedes responsibility’ that saw George Russell outperform him in debut season

Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton experienced his poorest return to a Formula 1 season last year since making his debut in 2007.

The seven-time world champion failed to win a single race all season for the first time and had to deal with the unusual situation of seeing young teammate George Russell finish ahead of him.

However, Hamilton has now explained why his performance suffered so much and how he was constantly looking for solutions.

The Stevenage-born driver tried to decipher what went wrong for him in the season and how it took “experimenting” to find where Mercedes was lacking.

Hamilton was the senior driver among the two and with plenty of more years of experience in the sport and at Mercedes, it was up to him to find a solution or to offer the most detailed feedback to Mercedes’ engineers.

“Literally, I have tried everything,” he said.

“I’ve tried every setting you can possibly do. That’s what I was doing at the beginning of the year.

The W13 was so far off the pace that Hamilton knew very early in the season that it would not be fruitful for him.

Having fought Verstappen till the last day of the 2021 season, it was a humbling blow for a driver who is in the twilight of his career.

Hamilton discussed the ‘trial and error’ method that he was forced to use ahead of every race weekend.

“The whole idea of performing at your best and getting the best result each weekend,” he said.

“Of course that would be nice, but I was really about problem solving: ‘I will sacrifice this session or all the sessions to be able to find more data and information for you.’

“[This is] so that when we go back to the factory they’ve [team] got a better understanding of what’s going on.’ But it ultimately hindered some of the weekends.”

Read more: Sky Sports pundits credit ‘double Mercedes blow’ for swift Lewis Hamilton fall from grace

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