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Former rival backs Hamilton to 'stop the doubters'

A former F1 rival has leapt to the defence of Lewis Hamilton following a difficult 2022 season for the Mercedes driver.

Felipe Massa hopes Lewis Hamilton is able to 'stop the doubters' and return to race-winning form in 2023. The Mercedes driver endured a difficult year in 2022, with an ill-handling W13 reducing race win opportunities for much of the year. New teammate George Russell took the team's only victories of the year - in the Brazilian Grand Prix Sprint and main race - whilst Hamilton encountered his first winless season in Formula 1. Russell also scored more points in the Drivers' Championship than Hamilton, becoming only the third driver to do so, after Jenson Button (2011) and Nico Rosberg (2016).

With fans curious to see how the battle between the Mercedes drivers would develop if Mercedes produce a front-running car for 2023, former F1 rival Felipe Massa hopes that Hamilton would still be able to 'show his worth' in the sport. "You have to remember what he has achieved, and may yet achieve," Massa told Gazzetta dello Sport . "He only needs one more title to become the best driver of all time, but for that he needs the right car. Last year Mercedes started badly, but then they caught up. "Hamilton suffered for the first time, compared to a teammate, Russell, who drove a great season. When you get older and a younger teammate immediately does so well in the first year, then the pressure mounts. "Hopefully Hamilton can still show what he is worth and he can make the people who doubt him stop doing so."

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