Welcome at RacingNews365

Become part of the largest racing community in the United Kingdom. Create your free account now!

  • Share your thoughts and opinions about F1
  • Win fantastic prizes
  • Get access to our premium content
  • Take advantage of more exclusive benefits
Sign in

Why Hamilton felt a 'ghost' was in his 2022 Mercedes

Lewis Hamilton's early struggles to get on top of his Mercedes W13 prompted the Briton to think that supernatural forces were at play.

Lewis Hamilton says he felt like a ghost was in his Mercedes W13, such was the difficulty he had adapting to the characteristics of his 2022 car. Having swept all but one available World Championship title between 2014 and 2021, Mercedes slipped back in competitiveness in 2022 as the W13 struggled badly with porpoising and bouncing early in the season. Instead of challenging for race wins, seven-time World Champion Hamilton and teammate George Russell were relegated to scrapping for occasional podiums across the opening rounds of 2022, with Hamilton failing even to break into the top 10 at the season's fourth race in Imola. However, a series of updates helped Mercedes close the gap to the front-running Red Bull and Ferrari teams over the course of the campaign, with the Silver Arrows finally winning a race at the season's penultimate round in Brazil, where Russell led Hamilton home for a dominant 1-2 finish.

Hamilton on 'empowering' year

"It's been impressive, for sure," Hamilton said of Mercedes' development throughout 2022. "I always knew that we could do it. I never doubted that we would get there in the end, but there was lots of trial and error, and so much failure this year. "There were times we brought upgrades and they didn't work, and times we tried different things and it didn't work. "I tried so many things and failed so many times but through that you learn and grow. "That's what it's been about this year. It's been about failure, breaking down egos, strengthening our relationships, and strengthening our communications. From that perspective, it's been really empowering."

Struggles to banish W13 'ghost'

After struggling in the season's first few races, Hamilton pinpointed the first turning point for Mercedes' season as the Spanish Grand Prix in May, where the Briton fought back to finish fifth after having dropped to 19th following a puncture at the start. Hamilton also hailed the team's performance at the French Grand Prix, where the Silver Arrows finished second and third to score their first double podium finish of 2022. "The first big step was Barcelona, that was our first hint of there being more potential in the car," said Hamilton. "It turned out to be a bit of a false positive; the car was good there but then the races afterwards were difficult. "It was like a ghost was in the car and it kept coming back. But then there was France and that felt like a good step with our first double podium of the season. And then there was Austin, too, with the update we had working well."

INTERVIEW Exclusive: Newey identifies 'hidden' F1 problem: 'We're no longer the best'