In a candid interview, Lewis Hamilton has conceded that securing second place in the Formula 1 drivers’ championship has become a formidable challenge. With just two races remaining in the season – the Las Vegas Grand Prix in the United States and the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix in the United Arab Emirates – Hamilton finds himself in a tight battle with Red Bull’s Sergio Perez to claim the runner-up spot behind championship leader Max Verstappen.
The current gap between second-placed Perez and third-placed Hamilton stands at 32 points, making it a steep climb for the British-Grenadian driver. Hamilton acknowledged the uphill battle, stating, “He’s too far away now, to be honest. Thirty points in two races, he would have to have two disasters, and I would have to be second, basically. But for me, honestly, it really doesn’t make a difference if we’re second or third.”
Despite the odds stacked against him, Hamilton remained positive about his season’s performance. He praised the achievements of his team, Mercedes, which has defied expectations by challenging Red Bull’s dominance. “I think we’ve still had an amazing year, given the car that we’ve had,” Hamilton remarked. “We never thought we would be fighting for second in the constructors’ championship and knocking on the door of the most dominant car, probably, of our era.”
Interestingly, there’s also a close contest for the runner-up position in the constructors’ championship, where Mercedes holds a 20-point lead over Ferrari. This adds an extra layer of intrigue to the final two races of the season.
Reflecting on the past two years, during which Mercedes faced numerous challenges and failed to secure a Grand Prix victory, Hamilton shared his perspective on staying motivated. He emphasized the importance of purpose and the opportunity to clinch an unprecedented eighth world championship title. “Growing up, I won a lot,” Hamilton recalled. “I always had at least one win each year. I think the last two years have been a great experience to really be fighting with the team.”
He acknowledged that after years of uninterrupted success, complacency had set in. However, this period of adversity allowed the team to regroup, refocus, and strive for improvement. “I know I can be fitter. I know I can do more, I can be more efficient with my work, with my time,” Hamilton explained, highlighting his commitment to continuous self-improvement.
Hamilton also shed light on the challenges that come with age in the demanding world of Formula 1. He discussed the pressures of maintaining physical fitness, managing time effectively, and sustaining clear communication within the team.
Looking ahead to the next season, Hamilton expressed his anticipation and nervousness about the car’s performance. “Coming back in February (next year) and getting in the car, I will know immediately whether it’s a car that we can fight with or not,” he stated, emphasizing the pivotal role of the car in their quest to catch up to Red Bull.
Lewis Hamilton’s candid assessment of his championship chances and his team’s performance provides insights into the determination and resilience required to compete at the highest level of Formula 1. As the season draws to a close, fans around the world eagerly await the outcome of this thrilling battle for second place in the drivers’ championship.