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Hamilton's dodgy motor // Lewis Hamilton prepares for a tough first season at Mercedes

Published by Christine Blachford

Hamilton visits the Mercedes factory in Brackley
Credit: Mercedes AMG

Not content with the headlines that Pirelli managed to snatch from them yesterday, Mercedes returned front and centre with a press day held at the factory in Brackley.

The top news stories coming out of the day were Ross Brawn's hopes to stay at the team (either determination or denial, one or the other), and Lewis Hamilton's concession that it's probably going to be a tough season to kick things off.

Brawn has, of course, been the subject of speculation for a couple of days now, and there's a little more to add to the discussion with the team principal's insistence that he wants to stay at Mercedes, and any plans to bring Paddy Lowe in would be alongside him, rather than instead of him. Meanwhile, Lewis Hamilton isn't breaking new ground with his talk of having to push the team forward and that he may not be winning races straight away.

Bad to worse

There was one small, tiny, almost insignificant quote that Hamilton said that caught my attention, because it speaks volumes about the Brit driver's point of view. When discussing the fact that the Mercedes car may not be as strong as the vehicles he's been used to driving, he pointed out he was quite prepared.

You have got to remember that I had a couple of half dodgy cars, one particular year, 2009. But it did get better so perseverance is going to be key for all of us.

- Lewis Hamilton

Granted, he admits that the car was only "half" dodgy in 2009, but this is a chassis that brought him two race victories, three more podiums, only two retirements, and fifth in the standings at the end of the year. It really sounds like it was a tough year!

A lot has been made of the fact that Hamilton made his F1 debut in a fantastically competitive car, and hasn't really looked back. Some would suggest the man has yet to pay his F1 dues, and that trundling around at the back of the pack - or at least somewhere in the midfield - is the kind of thing that makes a well-rounded driver. As a World Champion, I don't necessarily begrudge him having a fast car, but if he thinks the 2009 McLaren was dodgy, then he's really going to be in for a shock if this year's Mercedes is anything like the last.

The last thing we want is for Hamilton to throw his career away Villeneuve style, and he really does have the potential to make a big difference at Mercedes. It may just take him a little while longer to turn the ship than he expects, and hopefully the considerable step backwards this is likely to be won't demotivate him before the changes occur.

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