Mercedes boss Toto Wolff slams claims Lewis Hamilton is in decline after nightmare start to F1 season

1 week ago 20

MERCEDES Formula One chief Toto Wolff has slammed claims suggesting seven-time world champion Lewis Hamilton is in decline.

Hamilton narrowly missed out on a record breaking eighth world title last season to Dutchman Max Verstappen on the final lap.

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Hamilton has won six of his seven world titles at Merc[/caption]
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Hamilton is struggling with Merc’s new car[/caption]

And his fortunes haven’t changed this season either, only making the podium with a third placed finish in Bahrain.

The Brit has also spent this season in the shadow of Merc team-mate George Russell, who has been incredibly consistent on the track.

Despite Hamilton’s woes, Wolff has slammed claims that Hamilton is in decline and has put the 37-year-old’s performances down to the car.

Wolff told Channel 4: “No, I don’t think it’s like [he is in decline]. He is the best that has ever been.

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“Between Abu Dhabi in 2021 [and] dominating the last third of the season, to four months later, you are not losing your ability.”

Wolff has heaped praise on the Merc duo, who are trying to help develop the car.

Many cars on the grid, including Mercedes, are encountering serious issues with porpoising.

Hamilton was left with a sore back last weekend as a result.

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Wolff continued: “How they appear to me, both of them, it’s very professional.

“They have been given a car that is a bit sub-par, each of them tries to develop the car further, they have both gone [in] a different set-up direction.

“Lewis [in Azerbaijan Grand Prix qualifying] was again very experimental but can be available in the long term.

“I think as long as the car is not good enough to really be racing at the front, the differences are small and I don’t think you can have a pattern saying: ‘George is continuously outperforming Lewis,’ or the other way around.

“We have seen Lewis in Barcelona, he was the genius that we know, so I think what I enjoy is them working together and trying to bring the car back to the front.”

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