Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff has compared Lewis Hamilton’s impact on the team to that of Michael Schumacher, with whom Hamilton shares seven world championships, for the manner the Brit managed a difficult 2022 season.
Due to Mercedes’s lack of preparedness for the revised technical restrictions, Hamilton spent the opening part of the season experimenting with different vehicle setups and finished the year with his first winless campaign in his 16-year F1 career.
When asked how difficult 2022 would be for Hamilton, Wolff responded, “Extremely tough, because we have given him a tool that wasn’t capable of winning.” This was mentioned on okbet F1’s Beyond The Grid podcast. And the drivers were stuck with a vehicle that was excellent sometimes and bad other times, making it difficult to work with and improve.
But as a person, the way he’s handled this season is inspiring. I have never seen a professional athlete with such exceptional management and personality skills. There were moments when the squad was down due to non-performance, and that’s when he lifted everyone up and inspired them.
When asked whether he now considers Hamilton to be part of Mercedes’ management team, Wolff said, “I would say definitely.” Not only does he have a hand in designing the vehicle and working at the factory, but he also seems to have assumed a leadership role on race weekends.
Maybe [he’s] like Michael was back in the day, or how Tom Brady is in [American football] teams in the sense that you become more than simply a player or a driver. You’re just as much a member of the team emotionally as he is.
“He’s not a contractor in the sense that we used to understand the term; drivers arrive, get paid, and go on to racing okbet greener pastures. Now ten years into his tenure, he is an integral part of the group.
Hamilton, 37, has said that he hopes to extend his current contract with Mercedes until 2023 so that he may continue his pursuit of a record-breaking eighth world championship.