David Coulthard, a former Formula 1 driver, believes that Lewis Hamilton is still performing at his best, despite recent struggles with the Mercedes W14. Coulthard attributes Hamilton’s disappointing results to the underperformance of the car rather than any decline in the abilities of the seven-time champion.
Hamilton experienced an unusual 2022 season without securing a victory, which was a first in his extensive Formula 1 career. However, Mercedes has also faced a challenging start to the 2023 F1 season. The W14 car has returned the team to a similar situation as their performance at the same point in 2022, with little threat posed to the leading Red Bull cars.
Consequently, Hamilton faces a significant challenge to compete for the F1 2023 title, although the aspiration of achieving an unprecedented eighth World Championship remains alluring. In a recent interview with Channel 4, Coulthard explained:
“George Russell is driving the best car he has ever had, bearing in mind he was with Williams. However, this is not the best car Lewis Hamilton has ever driven. Hamilton’s mindset is different, as the car isn’t performing to his strengths. You can see him fighting with it out there; it lacks stability.”
Coulthard points out that the two drivers are at different stages of their careers. While acknowledging Russell’s impressive performance and his value to the team, Coulthard is confident that once Hamilton has a car that better suits his style, he will demonstrate why he is a seven-time World Champion. He further stated:
“George is consistently performing, but this is the best car he has driven, so he doesn’t have the same concerns as Lewis, who is trying to figure things out, such as ‘Should I sign for another year?’ or ‘Can I win another World Championship?’ So there is more on Lewis’s plate.”
Coulthard recognizes Russell’s brilliance and contribution to the team but clarifies that Hamilton’s current struggle is due to the car not aligning with his preferences. However, once the car performs to Hamilton’s satisfaction, Coulthard expects him to display his