Hamilton: Poor late-season form “a blessing in disguise”

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Three-time Formula 1 world champion Lewis Hamilton has called his end-of-season slump “a blessing in disguise”, believing that it will spur him on to work over the winter and return to form next year.

Hamilton clinched the 2015 drivers’ title in Austin, Texas at the end of October, but failed to match Mercedes teammate Nico Rosberg for pace in the remaining three races, finishing second in Mexico, Brazil and Abu Dhabi.

Hamilton admitted in Brazil that he had been feeling “run down” due to excessive partying in the wake of his championship success, while his lack of comfort with the 2016-spec updates on the Mercedes car also contributed to his poor results.

Speaking to the media ahead of Mercedes’ Stars and Cars event in Stuttgart, Germany on Saturday, Hamilton looked on the bright side of his poor run, believing that it will give him more incentive to bounce back in Australia next March.

“I actually look at the last three races as a blessing in disguise,” Hamilton said. “If I’d have won the last three races, that would’ve been quite a lot of races won in the season, and perhaps I would have gone into next season with less of a buzz.

“But I actually have great determination, a great drive right now and I think that’s come from having those results. In that sense, it’s been a good thing.”

Hamilton was quick to praise Rosberg for his late-season form, but admitted that he may have eased off without knowing given that the title was already won.

“I don’t ever take away from the fact that Nico did an exceptional job in those last few races, even actually from Singapore he did an exceptional job in qualifying,” Hamilton said.

“I think the change in the car seemed to suit him very well. And, you know, when the championship was done, I didn’t let off, but I was subconsciously more relaxed, perhaps.”