Lewis Hamilton: 11 years with Mercedes

Published on 29 May 2024 at 20:00

A smiley Lewis Hamilton at the British Grand Prix in 2016 .                                                            Credit: Jen Ross/Flickr


With the news of the seven-time World Champion leaving the Mercedes team after 11 years, I take a look back on his time with the team and his best achievements.

Hamilton signed with Mercedes at the end of the 2012 season after five years with McLaren, replacing Michael Schumacher's seat.

The Brit was reunited with former childhood karting team-mate Nico Rosberg who he ultimately lost the drivers' title to in 2016 by just five points.

Within Hamilton's first season, he secured his first victory with the team at the Hungarian Grand Prix where he started on pole and managed to take it all the way to the finish line on Sunday with a 11 second gap to Kimi Raikkonen.

He finished fourth in the drivers' championship that season.

The 2014 was another great season not just for Hamilton but for Mercedes too, with the team racking up 16 out of the 19 races that season with Hamilton bagging 11 of those wins.

He went on to win his second World Championship title beating team-mate Nico Rosberg prior to the previous year.

Hamilton dominated his way through the 2015 season winning 10 races and landing 17 podiums making him a World Champion for the third time matching the legendary Ayrton Senna title number.

A successful two seasons with the team and Hamilton extended his contract with Mercedes for three more years.

The rivalry between Hamilton and Rosberg in 2016 played a crucial part in Rosberg's chase at clinching that World Championship title. The Abu Dhabi Grand Prix was one of those moments.

Hamilton deliberately defied team instructions and purposefully slowed down his car to close the gap between Rosberg and the other drivers behind him and make them overtake which would have allowed Hamilton to win the title but  an engine failure at the Malaysian Grand Prix meant that Rosberg had won the title before announcing his retirement from Formula One immediately after.

Valtteri Bottas broke onto the scene in 2017 with himself being announced as the new Mercedes driver to race along side Hamilton.

Still a strong season for the three-time champion as he took the record for all-time most pole positions and managing to finish every race of the season, seeing himself to nine wins and another World Championship title.

We now had two four-time world champions competing in the 2018 season with the likes of Sebastian Vettel with Ferrari. Vettel had the first half of the season under his belt until numerous mechanical issues with his car resulted in Hamilton stepping in and winning the second half of the season.

Hamilton signed a two-year deal with Mercedes keeping him with them until the 2020 season where he raced against now three-time World Champion Max Verstappen at Red Bull and Ferrari's Charles Leclerc but this didn't phase him as he clinched his sixth champion trophy at the US Grand Prix, with two races before the end of the season.

A seventh title was won in 2020 which equalled Hamilton to Schumacher but with the COVID-19 pandemic affecting the season, there was fewer races and less chances of winning but he managed to win that title with three rounds to go and 124 points ahead of his team-mate in the drivers' standings.

This next season was a rollercoaster with the title battle of Verstappen vs. Hamilton at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix. The pair were both level on points and a controversial decision from former race director Michael Masi was more the reason to Lewis missing out.

The decision made was to instruct only the lapped cars separating the Red Bull and Mercedes to un-lap themselves under the safety car which therefore eliminated the gap between both drivers and allowed Verstappen to follow behind Hamilton.

From then on came the struggle for Hamilton and his team including new team-mate George Russell from Williams.

The start of the season, Hamilton had hardly any point in the standings but became marginally better in the later half of the season by overtaking Russell's scoring.

Hamilton had not won a single race that season despite his nine podium finishes and winded up finishing sixth in the championship behind his teammate who landed fourth.

2023 broke the record for most pole positions at a single circuit that being the Hungaroring where he beat Verstappen to pole by 0.003s.

Little did Hamilton know that the next season would be his last as he reached an agreement with Ferrari to join the team for the 2025 season alongside Charles Leclerc and replacing Carlos Sainz Jr. who's seat remains unknown to this date.


Harley Parker

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