Mercedes have struggled for outright performance, with their strong reliability allowing the team to score 11 podiums (Six for Hamilton; five for George Russell).
Hamilton is without a win this season meaning 2022 could be the first season in his F1 career that he hasn’t scored a grand prix victory.
After an unfortunate retirement last time out at the Belgian Grand Prix, Hamilton is hopeful Mercedes are more competitive at Zandvoort.
Speaking on Thursday ahead of the F1 Dutch Grand Prix, Hamilton spoke about how a car’s performance limits how much a driver can showcase their true talent amid Max Verstappen’s dominance this season.
“I mean the car does limit us,” he said. “I think for anyone that’s further back in the order they are limited by the machinery they have. If we all had the same car, no matter which one it was, you would see a better reflection of each driver, but that’s obviously not the case.
“Every time we get in the car we arrive optimistic, sometimes too optimistic and we have to lower that optimism but try and keep it throughout the weekend. But it becomes very clear straightaway where we stand and that we still often have the limitations that we do. And every time you get in the car there’s just more and more information that I’m able to pass into the team to try and get us on the right track for next year.”
With Verstappen and Red Bull dominating both championships, attention has naturally turned to next year.
Hamilton revealed that he’s ‘applying a lot of his time’ in communicating with Mercedes’ engineers to help with the 2023 car design in a bid to get back to race-winning ways.
That’s really where I’m applying a lot of my time, is just communication with all the heads of different departments really to make sure that we don’t leave any stone unturned. It could be brakes, could be gear ratios, could be suspension, ride, aero characteristics when you hit the brakes to when you turn to when you get back on power – all these sorts of things – to help guide them in terms of where they design the car for next year.”