Damon Hill: Hamilton’s instinctive speed is starting to leave him

The 1996 Formula 1 world champion questioned Lewis Hamilton's ability to compete with the younger generation


Age might be starting to catch up with Lewis Hamilton, according to Sky Sports F1 pundit Damon Hill.

The 1996 Formula 1 world champion suggested that Hamilton is beginning to show signs that he has lost some of his natural speed behind the wheel, evidenced by his struggles in qualifying alongside teammate George Russell.

Hamilton, 38, has always been notorious for his single-lap pace, and although he leads Russell on points race after three races of the 2023 F1 season, he has yet to out-qualify his 25-year-old teammate.

Russell replaced Valtteri Bottas ahead of the 2022 season and went on to outscore Hamilton – something the Finn never managed in five years – and picked up Mercedes‘ only win of a disappointing campaign.

It’s a pattern Hill says he has seen before when a young hotshot driver arrives at a new team to take on the elder statesman.

“Drivers in their late 30s can no longer do those absolutely absurd kind of transcendental laps that they used to be able to do when they were in their 20s.” Hill told the F1 Nation podcast.

“George is super quick, and he’s revelling in the early part of his career and he’s got this speed.

“I don’t know if Lewis has acknowledged that he can’t match that, or I’m sure he will eventually.

“But, I mean, it’s possible that that instinctive unconscious speed is starting to leave him, it does happen. Niki Lauda had Alain Prost arrive.

“When the older, experienced driver is faced by the speed of a young arrival, they can get depressed about it or devote their energy to making sure the outcome in the race is the thing that matters.”

Lewis Hamilton celebrates after finishing second at the 2023 Australian Grand Prix
Hamilton finished P2 after a chaotic Australian GP | Image credit: Steve Etherington, Mercedes

‘George has to do the hard work’

Despite heaping praise on Russell, Hill admitted the 25-year-old still has to prove he has what it takes to fight for a world championship should Mercedes recover from their slump and return to winning regularly.

“George has to work very hard to become a valuable asset to the team, which he is doing,” Hill added.

“He has to do the hard work, Lewis doesn’t. They know that if Hamilton is given the opportunity, he will be back in top form and will be able to offer extraordinary races.

“They also know that George can do that, but he still has to prove it.”

Andrew Wrighthttps://total-motorsport.com
Sports Journalist for Total-Motorsport.com
- Advertisment -


Where does Charles Leclerc rank 2024 Monaco Grand Prix win?

Charles Leclerc is a race winner for the first time in almost two years as the Ferrari ace crushed...

What we learned from the 2024 Monaco Grand Prix

The 2024 Monaco Grand Prix may not have served up a classic, but it wasn’t short on storylines as...

Look away Checo – Horner praises Perez’s F1 rival as star fights for Red...

Christian Horner insists Red Bull will make a decision about Sergio Perez's Red Bull future "in the fullness of...

F1 Winners and Losers of 2024 Monaco GP

Charles Leclerc vanquished his Monte Carlo demons to finally take victory at his home race, while Red Bull continued...

F1 Driver Ratings – Monaco GP 2024

Charles Leclerc was in dreamland as the Ferrari driver finally celebrated an elusive victory at home race at the...

2024 Indy 500 Race Results

Josef Newgarden joined an elite group of drivers by winning the Indy 500 for the second consecutive year in...

Newgarden takes sensational Indy 500 win after epic battle for glory

The Indianapolis 500 never fails to excite and even a four-hour rain delay couldn't dampen the drama for IndyCar's...

2024 Indy 500: Results and Highlights as Newgarden wins

Welcome to this Total Motorsport live blog for the 2024 Indy 500, is among the most prestigious motorsport events...

Christian Horner turns on old enemy Mercedes after Red Bull’s dire Monaco GP

Christian Horner flamed Mercedes once again after the 2024 Monaco Grand Prix, accusing them of a 'defeatist, hugely conservative...

Charles Leclerc reveals moment he almost lost the 2024 Monaco GP

Charles Leclerc revealed he almost lost the 2024 Monaco Grand Prix when he began to cry in the cockpit...
- Advertisment -
Exit mobile version