Lewis Hamilton has suggested that he could stick around at Mercedes for ‘many more’ years after his 2022 season ended with a whimper in Abu Dhabi. The seven-time world champion was forced to retire from the race on account of a hydraulics issue, which saw him slip right down to sixth within the Drivers’ Championship.
Before lights out on Sunday, Hamilton may need clung to faint hopes that his streak of winning a Grand Prix in every yr of his profession could possibly be salvaged on the eleventh hour. But it surely wasn’t to be as Max Verstappen won at a canter to notch his fifteenth win of the season for Red Bull.
Things went from bad to worse for Hamilton, who was nearly holding onto fourth spot late on under pressure from Carlos Sainz. But a hydraulics issue saw him called into the pits with just three laps remaining and saw him suffer a DNF.
The retirement saw him drop below Sainz within the Drivers’ Championship, and George Russell became just the third driver to beat Hamilton over the course of a yr while on the identical team.
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After the chequered flag, Hamilton gave some insight into an opening-lap collision with Sainz that barely damaged his Mercedes, in addition to a touch into his future plans by claiming that he goals for ‘many more’ championships with the Silver Arrows.
“I believe the ground took an enormous hit and also you lose a little bit of performance,” the Brit told Sky Sports. “The balance was shifted forwards which is like you’ve got a great deal of front wing. Ultimately we began with a automotive that we didn’t want and we finished that way too. We were stuck with it.
“We kept working away at improving it but the basics have been there during. It’s been more of a team-building exercise this yr and I’m happy with everyone. We’ll be back on the factory over the following couple of weeks. I hope the struggles this yr really provide us with the strength to fight for a lot of more championships moving forward.”
“It’s the way it is,” Perez told Sky Sports after ending the yr in third. “Sometimes it’s really close but at the tip of the day, I gave all of it. As a team we gave all of it through the season and I’m sure we’ll come back stronger for next yr.
“We had great moments, great battling. I struggled a bit with managing the tyres so hopefully that’s something we will improve on for next yr.” Meanwhile, an exhausted Leclerc threw things forward to 2023 as he hopes Ferrari can close the gap on Red Bull.
Mercedes will concentrate on an identical task through the off-season, having narrowly missed out on second place within the Constructors’ Championship to Ferrari.