LEWIS HAMILTON is no stranger to difficult times in F1 having experienced similar issues at McLaren.
Toto Wolff spoke with Lewis Hamilton about the 2009 season (Image: GETTY) SUBSCRIBE Invalid email
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Toto Wolff has admitted that he held talks with Lewis Hamilton looking back on the Brit’s difficult 2009 season at McLaren when he didn’t win a race until the 10th Grand Prix of the year. Mercedes have been on the backfoot all season long with their W13 package playing catch up to the developments at Ferrari and Red Bull.
They’ve since had an upturn in form over the past few months with Hamilton going on to clinch his fifth consecutive podium in last weekend’s race at the Hungaroring. But his first win of the season has still alluded Hamilton so far through the first 13 races of the year.
Heading into the Hungarian Grand Prix, there was a chance for Hamilton to repeat his achievements from 2009. The race at the Hungaroring was his first win of the year back in 2009 when McLaren were way off the pace.
They had finished outside the top-10 in the five Grands Prix building up to the race in Hungary that year. But things soon clicked at the Hungaroring for Hamilton as he took advantage of both Sebastian Vettel and Fernando Alonso not finishing the race.
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Lewis Hamilton won his first race of the 2009 season in Hungary (Image: GETTY)
The eerie similarities from that year to this year with Mercedes were not lost on Wolff and the Mercedes team principal admits he even spoke with Hamilton about it heading into last weekend’s race. “We talked about it and he said that by Hungary they had turned the car around at McLaren and it was competitive again,” Wolff said.
It wasn’t to be for Mercedes in the end, but it was another second and third finish for Hamilton and George Russell respectively. The 24-year-old surprised everyone when he pipped both Ferraris on Saturday to take the first F1 pole of his career.
Russell struggled to match the pace of the frontrunners throughout the race, but Hamilton ended up as the fastest man on track for the final few laps when he switched to soft tyres. And Wolff praised both his drivers for “keeping their cool” with Mercedes still trying to work things out behind the scenes.
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“I really must say, I admire how both of the drivers, in their very personal way, have contributed to develop the car throughout the season,” he added. “I’m not sitting here saying ‘Hurray! We’re back in the championship fight’ just because we’re on pole.
“But whether it was P2 on a Sunday or P14 after a free practice session, both of them have kept their cool.”
Hamilton holds an incredible record of winning an F1 race every year he’s competed in the sport. With still nine races remaining, Hamilton will have plenty of opportunities to keep that record up starting with the Belgian Grand Prix at the end of the month.