Lewis Hamilton says ‘thank God’ the season’s nearly over after Brazil Grand Prix misery
The Mercedes man finished eighth in Interlagos.
Hamilton’s teammate George Russell also endured a torrid afternoon, retiring from the race with mechanical issues while just about running in the points.
Mercedes were way off the pace and with just two races left in 2023, it is likely that the W14 will be there first car in 12 years not to win a single grand prix.
Speaking to Sky Sports post-race, Hamilton was reminded he only had two grand prix left in the car, and the 38-year-old smiled and exclaimed: ‘Thank God! Yes, it [sounds good].
‘The car, there’s moments it works and moments it doesn’t, and it’s so inconsistent through the lap. So we have to figure out what that is.
‘Then also we are really slow on the straights and at least sliding the car through the corners. So one to forget but hopefully there’s lots of learning from today.
‘One thing the car is really unpredictable. In a sense of one weekend it feels good, one session it feels good, and then not. I’m sure we will go and look at things and find things we should have done differently but with the one [practice] session it’s difficult.
‘But I’m still proud of the team, they still came here and did their work, they hold their head up high and that’s what we have to continue to do. Just keep pushing forward.
‘Two more races with this thing. Hopefully no more driving it.’
Russell echoed his fellow Brit, adding: ‘Clearly we got something wrong this weekend, still we’re not too sure what that is as yet, but the pace just hadn’t been there. We thought yesterday may have been a one off, but clearly it wasn’t, so we need to regroup and try to understand it.
’12 months ago this was our strongest race of the year, 12 months later it’s by far our weakest race of the year, so very strange. The car was just slow this weekend.
‘Something doesn’t quite add up, you just don’t suddenly lose a second’s worth of performance and go from a podium fighting car to just fighting for points. We really need to sit down and understand, but clearly a massive one off this week.’
‘Inexcusable performance. There’s even no words for that,’ a vexed Mercedes boss Toto Wolff said.
‘That car finished second last week and the week before, and whatever we did to it was horrible. Lewis survived out there, but George, I can only feel for the two driving such a miserable thing.
‘It shows how difficult the car is, it’s on a knife’s edge. You’ve got to develop that better for next year, because it can’t be that within seven days you’re finishing on the podium, solid, with one of the two quickest cars, and then you’re nowhere and finishing eighth.’
For more stories like this, check our sport page.