Lewis Hamilton believes 2024 is the worst start to a Formula 1 season he has ever had in his career, after he was forced to retire from the Australian Grand Prix due to engine problems.

This season was supposed to mark a new beginning for the Mercedes team. After a disastrous 2022 and a not-so-successful 2023, the announced changes in the car’s philosophy have raised hopes that they have finally solved the problems that have held them back so much. The infamous ‘zeropods’ design is gone, the floor of the car has been revised, but there still seems to be no progress.

Lewis Hamilton was already out of Q2 and qualified 11th, but after a solid start to the race he was forced to stop after 15 laps due to engine problems. This withdrawal from the race marks a difficult start to the season for the seven-time world champion who finished seventh in Bahrain and ninth in Saudi Arabia.

‘THIS IS THE WORST START TO THE SEASON I’VE EVER HAD,” HAMILTON SAID

When asked if it is worse than 2022 and 2023, he answered:

“OH YES, SURE, I THINK IT’S WORSE THAN 2009.”

Despite the poor results that left him in ninth place in the driver’s standings, Hamilton wants to stay positive and hopes to return to the fight for the top.

”SURPRISINGLY, I FEEL PRETTY GOOD. REALLY, JUST TRYING TO KEEP THINGS IN PERSPECTIVE. IT COULD HAVE BEEN A LOT WORSE. I’M REALLY GRATEFUL TO BE HERE, I REALLY ENJOYED MY TIME IN AUSTRALIA.”

”I STILL ENJOY WORKING WITH THE TEAM. OF COURSE, I WOULD LIKE TO FIGHT FOR VICTORIES AND FINISH RACES. IT’S NEVER A GOOD FEELING WHEN YOU COME THIS FAR AND DON’T EVEN SEE HALF THE RACE. WHAT I DO KNOW, HOWEVER, IS THAT WE WILL RECOVER AND EVENTUALLY GET TO WHERE WE WANT TO BE. WE JUST HAVE TO KEEP WORKING ON IT.”

”IT’S EASY TO GET CAUGHT UP IN THE MOMENT AND FOCUS ON JUST THAT ONE THING, BUT THE BIGGER PICTURE IS DEFINITELY IN FOCUS. ALSO, UNDERSTANDING THAT YOU CAN’T CONTROL EVERYTHING,” HAMILTON SAID.

This result from Melbourne officially stands in the statistics as the worst start to the season ever for Lewis Hamilton, so far it was 2009 when he finished the first three races as disqualified, seventh and sixth.

And finally, this is the first double withdrawal for the Mercedes team since 2018, when Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas withdrew from the Austrian Grand Prix due to technical reasons.