Toto Wolff lifts lid on Lewis Hamilton morale after ‘worst start ever’ to a season

Lewis Hamilton looks tense ahead of the 2024 Saudi Arabian Grand Prix with a prominent Mercedes badge alongside him

Lewis Hamilton has endured a tough start to his final season with Mercedes

Mercedes team boss Toto Wolff praised the mentality of Lewis Hamilton despite a rough start to F1 2024, even when “over the fence” he can see rival teams excelling.

The F1 2024 ambition for Mercedes was to take a clear step forward in the pecking order and set their sights on challenging Red Bull rather than keeping their head above water versus the chasing pack, though that goal has hit an early roadblock.

Lewis Hamilton ‘as good as you can be’ for Mercedes

It has been Red Bull and Ferrari setting the pace so far, Ferrari responding to Red Bull’s back-to-back 1-2 finishes with one of their own in Australia, while Mercedes are yet to finish higher than George Russell’s P5 at the opening round in Bahrain.

And Russell has taken firm control of the intra-team battle versus Hamilton, who is off to Ferrari for 2025, leading many to question where Hamilton’s head is at after this underwhelming start to the season. Wolff though, has no such concerns.

“I think the drivers are super in this whole setup, because Lewis is as good as you can be,” Wolff assured media personnel in Melbourne.

“He’s in a situation obviously where, on one side it’s super frustrating to see that we are not getting it, on the other side, look over the fence and it’s pretty good what’s happening there.

“But that is not his main priority today and George is just a fighter and is digging in and he knows that’s his place, so we’ve got to sort this out.”

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And the need to escape this slump is a message very much backed by Hamilton, who after retiring from the Australian Grand Prix with an engine failure, called this his “worst start to a season” ever.

Nonetheless, in keeping with Wolff’s view on the matter, Hamilton was keen to retain a positive outlook on the situation he and Mercedes are in.

“I mean, this is the worst start to season I’ve ever had,” he acknowledged to the media in Melbourne.

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

“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.”

Hamilton is sat on a tally of just eight points after the opening three rounds of F1 2024.

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