Lewis Hamilton opens up on difficult season for Mercedes
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Lewis Hamilton was recognised with an award at the FIA prize-giving ceremony on Friday evening despite failing to win a single race over the course of the 2022 season. The 37-year-old endured a tough campaign with Mercedes, who only managed to finish third in the Constructors’ Championship standings after slipping behind Red Bull and Ferrari at the top of the pecking order.
Hamilton only managed to get on the podium eight times over the course of this year and recently admitted that he was glad to see the back of the 2022 campaign after failing to trouble Max Verstappen for the end-of-season honours. It was not all doom and gloom for Hamilton from an individual perspective, though, as he was recognised for his overtaking skills by winning the FIA’s Action of the Year award at Friday’s official ceremony in Italy.
The Mercedes man scooped the gong as a result of his impressive double-overtake to pass Sergio Perez and Charles Leclerc at the British Grand Prix back in September. Hamilton managed to ward off competition from Formula E duo Alexander Sims and Jean-Eric Vergne to win the award, while Formula Three star Oliver Bearman was also nominated for a pair of overtakes at Zandvoort.
Hamilton was voted by fans as the winner of the prize in a show of recognition for his efforts in 2022 despite Mercedes’ lack of pace in comparison to their Constructors’ Championship rivals. The Silver Arrows managed to win just one race all season, with George Russell taking the chequered flag at the Brazilian Grand Prix on a strong weekend for the German team in November.
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The Action of the Year category was debuted by the FIA in 2014 and has honoured the skills of Verstappen on four occasions, although Hamilton’s triumph on Friday marked the first of his career. Fernando Alonso managed to claim last year’s edition of the prize as a result of his staunch defending against Hamilton during the latter stages of the Hungarian Grand Prix.
Verstappen was also in attendance at the FIA’s prize-giving ceremony to collect his Drivers’ Championship trophy after finishing over 140 points clear of second-placed Charles Leclerc in the standings. He reflected on his latest end-of-season triumph by insisting that it was more enjoyable than winning last year’s title at the end of a bitter and hotly-contested battle with Hamilton that went on until the final lap of the last race.
“The emotions are very different, but I think they should be anyway because your whole life you aim for one particular goal and that’s to become a world champion for me in F1,” said Verstappen.
“The first one is always an emotional one once you achieve it, but this year has been very different. I do think we were more competitive this year, and more enjoyable with how we performed as a whole team. We won the Drivers’ and the Constructors’. We had a lot of victories as a team, so I would say this one is better and more rewarding, but the first one will always be more emotional.”
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