Despite helping Mercedes win both drivers’ and constructors’ championships, according to Lewis Hamilton the W10 wasn’t “that great looking” early in its development.
Mercedes started the season in a dominant fashion, winning first eight races in a row, but Lewis Hamilton says the 2019 car wasn’t easy to drive during pre-season testing.
“When we started this season, our car was actually a real heap to drive,” said Hamilton at the FIA Prize-Giving celebration.
“It wasn’t that great looking at the testing. We couldn’t quite get it in the window, and it wasn’t until the last day that we got it to work.
“And then we went to the first race and we already had some great results.”
Asked what made 2019 the ‘best year in my whole career’, as Hamilton put it, the Briton said:
“I would say probably more the influences from outside. I think that’s really what made the year the best. I think the season on a whole was as strong as the last.
“Qualifying wasn’t as strong this year but still, I was qualifying front row, top three quite often, and split the Ferraris when they all of a sudden had 30bhp more than everyone.
“Qualifying was still good, but it was a harder car to drive this year. So the races were just as strong as last year.
“The races are really where the championship was won but I think also the outside I’ve just been happier in collaboration with the team, in terms of teamwork.
“And things like the doors that have been opened in terms of fashion. That’s been well received and well accepted, and my fans have been amazing, supporting me with it.
“So being able to do those things and it not be talked about too much, because in the sense of negative, that’s a distraction.
“But then also there’s quite a few people that we’ve lost so it’s been quite an emotional rollercoaster.
“From race one, to Monaco, to Spa, which were big, big dents in the motorsport world.
“And I think for everyone, they were struggling,” concluded Hamilton.