“Why would I ever think that? We’ve won eight [titles] in a row. Why would I feel that way? My team don’t make mistakes. Of course, there is always a risk, but we don’t make mistakes.
“There’s a lot of very intelligent people back at the factory and I trust them 100 per cent. Whatever we start with today, whether it’s good or bad, we’ll work through it.
“We’ve always had a great development plan and workforce,” he concluded at the time.
When he was again asked about the difficulties Mercedes has been facing in 2022, ahead of the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix, Lewis recalled these comments and admitted he might have been wrong.
“It’s difficult, for sure,” Lewis explained.
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“But, you know, I’m not the only one in the team, right? We’re all feeling the pain. We’re all right in this together. And we win and we lose as a team. So we are doing the best we can with what we have.
“Earlier on in the year in Barcelona a question was put to me, what happens if you get it wrong? And I said, ‘Well, we don’t do that, we don’t get things wrong. We’re world champions.’
“But the fact is, with all the possibilities out there, we may have. But what we continue to do is just keep our heads down, keep working. If one person is down, we rely on our team-mates to lift each other up.
“And yeah, we’re nowhere near where we want to be. But we will just keep fighting, keep working as hard as we can, and hope that eventually we see light at the end of the tunnel.”
When asked if he believes the W13 is a flawed concept, the Briton said he is not the person who can determine that.
“Well, it’s all reasonable questions. I mean, I can’t say whether the car is flawed, the concept is flawed. I’m not an aerodynamicist.
“And at some stage, we will have a better understanding of whether that is the case or not, or whether we are in the right.
“Maybe all of a sudden we’ll fix the bouncing, and we’ll unlock more potential. So it’s difficult to write it off anytime soon, because everyone’s continuing to work on it.
“But hopefully, it comes to light soon, one way or another, whichever way it is, and then we can start putting our focus on to the solution, because we haven’t found the solution yet.
“Of course, I want to be fighting for the world championship. But unfortunately, that’s not the case.
“And we have to accept the reality which we’re faced with, and it’s what we do as racers, we keep fighting,” Hamilton concluded.