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Lewis Hamilton

Has Hamilton given up on his final F1 season with Mercedes?

Lewis Hamilton's tenure with Mercedes is winding down - has the seven-time world champion already given up on his season ahead of his move to Ferrari?

Hamilton Miami
Analysis
To news overview © XPBimages

Lewis Hamilton is enduring one his worst starts to a Formula 1 season - with 27 points on the board after six races, it's a dramatic fall in form for the seven-time world champion and the results he's accustomed to.

Hamilton will depart Mercedes at the end of the current campaign and begin a fresh chapter with Ferrari in 2025 with a new environment, a new boss and a new team-mate.

On several occasions this year Hamilton has outlined he is remaining focused on his project with Mercedes in a bid to end his tenure with it on a high.

But based on the unparalleled success he enjoyed from 2014 to 2020, if the opening six rounds are anything to go by, there is little hope of achieving any such fairytale ending.

Hamilton’s best result of the season came last weekend in Miami, when he crossed the line in sixth place.

Only once before has Hamilton failed to score a podium finish in the first three races of a new season, with his 2009 campaign getting off to a disastrous start.

However, gains were made in the second half of the campaign - but such a turnaround seems highly unlikely for Mercedes this year.

The Brackley-based squad has been chasing the front of the field ever since the introduction of new technical regulations in 2022, with Hamilton yet to win a race under the current rules.

Mercedes' only victory in that time has come through George Russell as the team has slipped from its leading place in the pecking order, which it held for a number of years.

Following the drop down the competitive ladder, a new challenge beckoned Hamilton at Ferrari.

Now, it seems rather than wallow in frustration over his lack of competitiveness, the Briton is simply looking to enjoy his final year in Mercedes colours.

			© XPBimages
	© XPBimages

The approach in attitude was particularly evident in Miami last time out when he was pitched on track against a relentless Kevin Magnussen who refused to yield during the sprint race in a bid to aid team-mate Nico Hulkenberg’s quest for points.

The Mercedes driver was bullied off the circuit on several occasions in a battle that would leave any competitor seething.

Except, as it turns out, for Hamilton.

"I think that's pretty honest of him and pretty cool," Hamilton said after he was informed that Magnussen claimed the 35-second worth of penalties he tallied for his driving were “well deserved”.

"We had a good race, it was a little on the edge in some places. That's what I love, I love racing hard. And for me, I wasn't really frustrated or anything, that's what you do to work as a team."

Hamilton's decision to jump ship at the end of the year could already be seen as an understanding that he is unlikely to achieve another world title with Mercedes.

While it was always known the on-track partnership would one day come to an end, both parties will have been hoping for something more success-filled to round out the historic collaboration.

			© XPBimages
	© XPBimages

But rather than be frustrated by the position he finds himself in, Hamilton is taking a relaxed attitude to enjoy his final months as a Mercedes driver before his transition to Ferrari.

While Ferrari too is playing catch-up, it's an exciting moment for Hamilton who will face an advanced challenge late into his F1 career.

Such was Mercedes' position in the running order in years gone by that it once seemed inconceivable that podium finishes would become a rarity for Hamilton.

It's the scenario that he currently finds himself in and in Mercedes' third consecutive season of woe, he seems further than ever from returning to the top step of the podium.

With success and winning being such an important factor for Hamilton, it can be argued whether or not he has “given up” on the 2024 campaign, conceding to the circumstances. 

If that's the case, he is right to avoid forcing himself to become hot or bothered over a situation beyond his control. Whatever way it plays out, the season will forever be a special one as it brings down the curtain on a partnership that fashioned him into the force he is today.

Why find a need to spoil it?

Also interesting:

Join RacingNews365's Ian Parkes and Nick Golding as they are joined by ex-Formula 1 team principal Otmar Szafnauer to discuss the 'silliest of silly seasons' as well as McLaren and Lando Norris' victory at the Miami Grand Prix.

Rather watch than listen to our podcast? Click here

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