Lewis Hamilton bemoans ‘worst start to a season ever’ after Australia GP


Lewis Hamilton bemoans ‘worst start to a season ever’ after Australia GP

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Lewis Hamilton has scored just eight points in three races (Photo: Getty)

Sir Lewis Hamilton says he’s enduring ‘the worst start to a season I’ve ever had’ after retiring from the Australian Grand Prix.

Stuck with yet another uncompetitive Mercedes car, Hamilton has taken just eight points from the opening three races of 2024.

At Sunday’s Australian Grand Prix, the seven-time Formula 1 champion was scraping for another lowly points finish when his engine suddenly just cut out, forcing him to retire 16 laps in.

It was a miserable day for Mercedes all-round, after teammate George Russell crashed out on the last lap while trying to chase down Fernando Alonso.

The results from Melbourne have left the team fifth in the standings, 71 points off leaders Red Bull, while Hamilton is ninth, 43 points off Max Verstappen who also retired from the Melbourne race with brake failure.

‘I think the engine seized. It appeared out of nowhere, it was a split second thing,’ Hamilton told Sky Sports, explaining his retirement.

The 39-year-old briefly diced with the Red Bull of Sergio Perez and once again he was left in awe of how quick his rival’s car was.

This is Hamilton’s final season with Mercedes (Photo: Getty)

‘Massive gap [to Red Bull]. I think they have a second on us, the way he [Perez] pulled down the straight… same as last year!’

He later added: ‘I mean, this is the worst start to season I’ve ever had.

‘Oh, yeah, for sure [even worse than the last two]. And it’s worse than 2009 I think.’

15 years ago, Hamilton, then racing for McLaren, endured what was long considered his worst season ever, claiming just 11 points (adjusted for today’s scoring system) in the first three grand prix.

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Nevertheless, the British sporting great insists he is still upbeat, though maybe that’s because Carlos Sainz claimed victory in Australia in a Ferrari that Hamilton will be driving next year.

‘Surprisingly, I feel pretty good. I’m trying to keep things in perspective, you know, this like, could be so much worse,’ he said.

‘I’m really grateful. I’ve really enjoyed my time here in Australia, I’m still enjoying working with a team. Of course, I’d love to be fighting for wins and actually finishing races.

‘It’s never a great feeling when you come all this way, and you don’t see even half of the race, but what I know is that we will bounce back, we will eventually get there, we just have to continue to chip away.’

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