Can Lewis Hamilton find harmony with his Mercedes in Japan?

Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton is lacking optimism ahead of the 2024 Japanese Grand Prix after a tough start to the F1 season


Lewis Hamilton does not envisage any major change in performance for Mercedes at the 2024 Japanese Grand Prix after another tough start to the Formula 1 season.

The British driver has endured a miserable start to his final campaign as a Mercedes driver, crossing the line seventh in Bahrain, ninth in Saudi Arabia and then failing to finish in Australia. 

The 2024 F1 season has been a continuation of 2023’s poor showing for Mercedes and Hamilton so far, and the seven-time world champion does not think that will change at Suzuka.

“If the last three races are anything to go by, it’s unlikely, but we are working towards it so if it happens then that will be amazing,” Hamilton told the press ahead of the 2024 Japanese GP.

Lewis Hamilton prepares for the 2024 Saudi Arabian GP | Mercedes
Lewis Hamilton prepares for the 2024 Saudi Arabian GP | Mercedes

Hamilton wants ‘perspective’ on Mercedes struggles

The 2024 Australian GP turned into a nightmare for Mercedes as they registered a rare double DNF. Hamilton pulled off the track at Albert Park after just 17 laps and was forced to retire.

Mercedes technical director James Allison said after the race that it was “a rapid loss of oil pressure followed by a shutdown of the engine to protect it.”

In addition, Hamilton’s Mercedes teammate George Russell crashed right at the end of the Australian GP and was left stranded in the middle of the track, following an incident involving Fernando Alonso.

George Russell's Mercedes after crash at 2024 Australian GP | F1
George Russell’s Mercedes after crash at 2024 Australian GP | F1

It was put to Hamilton that a double DNF is a very rare thing for Mercedes considering their recent period of dominance in the sport, but the driver claimed that perspective is needed when analysing the situation. 

“I think it’s all about perspective, I think for us of course we’ve not started the season the way we wanted to and we’ve got a long way to go,” Hamilton said.

“We’ve seen it after last year for example just how quick things can switch with certain teams, like Aston [Martin] or McLaren last year who started on the back foot or the other way round. 

“So anything can happen in this sport so I think we’ve just got to do what we can, take as much from the data as possible and continue to work hard.”

John Smith
John Smith
Editor at and all round Motorsport journalist specialising in Formula 1, IndyCar and Formula E.
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