Former F1 drivers David Coulthard and Mark Webber often have differing views in front of the camera as analysts for Sky Sports, but they were in full agreement over a ‘double Mercedes blow’.
Both Coulthard and Webber felt that this impacted seven-time world champion Lewis Hamilton last season, which was clear given the fact that it was the first time in his career that he failed to win a race all season.
For starters, Hamilton’s W13 was nowhere near the level of either Red Bull or Ferrari and porpoising meant that driving the car was often a painful experience.
This was there for everyone to see at the Azerbaijan Grand Prix, when Hamilton left the car clutching his back.
Mercedes was so far off the pace in the early part of the season that the 2021 runner-up Hamilton managed only one podium finish in the first eight races.
Hamilton eventually ended the season with nine podiums, but that was largely due to Mercedes covering its tracks and making vast improvements to the W13, something that was also noticed by Red Bull boss Christian Horner.
Coulthard and Webber felt the cruel nature in which Hamilton lost out of the 2021 title coupled with a very poor car in the W13 were the two reasons that contributed to a disappointing season for Hamilton.
“In my opinion, Lewis (Hamilton) has only found the energy along the way through the season and also the hunger for success,” said Coulthard.
“After Abu Dhabi last year, the winter break was short and Lewis’ (Hamilton) frustration prevailed. In addition, he has been at the front for a long time in his career and he got an extra tap when the car turned out not to be good enough for pole positions or victories at the beginning of this year.”
Webber agreed with Coulthard’s assessment, putting more weight on the fact that Hamilton was unable to cope with the manner in which the previous season ended.
“Lewis is of course one of the very best in our sport, but it was a tough winter for him to pick himself up again and come back,” Webber said.
“There was a second blow after that when the car turned out to be uncompetitive. Despite the fact that he has a pretty positive attitude, that was still a moment of reflection.”
Webber believes that if Mercedes produces a good car for the upcoming season, there is no reason for Hamilton not to take full advantage of it.
“Hamilton can make one hundred percent of that 99 again.
“That winner’s instinct is in him. If the victories are achievable again next year, I think we will see the old Lewis again.”