Lewis Hamilton has said his first season at Mercedes has gone a lot better than he expected. And that’s despite his teammate Nico Rosberg winning twice, while the 2008 Formula One World Champion has yet to convert his Saturday pace into a victory.
“Overall, it has gone a lot better than I expected it would,” he said in his new blog for the BBC. “Coming to the team, I remember the excitement of having something new and fresh, going to the factory, sitting in the mock-up of the car and making a few changes to the way the team went about things.
“From the first race onwards, it has just been great to be up there in the mix at the front. I never expected to be ahead of McLaren, for example. Before I drove the car, I thought it was going to be tough to be in the top 10. I honestly meant that when I said it over the winter – just because the team had had a really difficult end to last season.
“I was thinking it was going to be a tough year.”
Mercedes enters this weekend’s Hungarian Grand Prix second in the Constructor’s Championship, three points ahead of Ferrari. Hamilton says even more could have been achieved had it not been for poor luck or missed opportunities.
“For me, the ones that are really difficult are the ones where the car was able to win but I missed out for whatever reason,” he said. “The obvious one was Silverstone, where I was leading comfortably until my tire blew. Of course, there have also been other times when I’ve missed out through my own fault, like in Monaco.”
Mercedes may be impacted more than most by the new Pirelli compound construction that debuts in Hungary this weekend. The team was barred from participating in the Silverstone young driver test last weekend as punishment for its secret test at Barcelona, and the “tiregate” saga that followed. Still, Hamilton’s had a good year to date and a win later this year would extend his streak of consecutive years with a win to seven.