Hamilton: McLaren’s success shows that the Mercedes engine is not a problem

Lewis Hamilton says McLaren’s status as a true race winner shows the engine is not the problem in Mercedes’ struggles .

McLaren began last season struggling for points with an underdeveloped car, but mid-season upgrades saw the team establish themselves as Red Bull’s most consistent challenger.

The Woking-based team built on that remarkable turnaround in 2024 with a Miami upgrade package that gave Lando Norris his first Miami win.

However, Mercedes failed to match McLaren and Ferrari’s strides in closing the gap on Red Bull, despite boasting optimism about their redesigned W15 car.

Hamilton believes that McLaren’s constant progress as a team that buys Mercedes engines proves that the German manufacturer’s powertrain is still among the strongest in the world.

Asked how encouraging it was to see McLaren’s recent success, Hamilton said: “We always knew the engine was not the problem. So the engine is great.” “I think people [engineers] have continued to do an incredible job in terms of developing that technology.”

“And with the hybrid area, we’ve been at the very top in terms of our rate of development, performance and reliability. So it was never a problem.”

“Therefore, everyone who buys our engines knows what they are getting.”

“But we know that as far as cars go, we haven’t done the best jobs over the last few years and we’re working as hard as we can to put that right,” he notes.

In 2008, Hamilton won his first title with McLaren, and in his debut season [2007], together with two-time champion Fernando Alonso, he was on the verge of winning the title.

The Brit returned for that missed chance in his second year, but McLaren failed to mount a title challenge after that and Hamilton retired in 2012.

McLaren endured a difficult period after that, especially when Honda re-entered F1, until they started to return to the era of ground effect.

The seven-time champion believes that his former team is doing a great job, and he praised the driving lineup of the team from Woking.

“I think he [Norris] is doing a great job,” Hamilton added. “Oscar [Piastri] also does a really great job.”

“He’s just been unlucky in the last few races. I’m so excited to see both of them and how they’re both progressing, but mostly for McLaren, to see them back there.”

“It warms my heart because I was there for a long time [from 2007 to 2012] and they gave me a break. So it’s great.”

“Hopefully we can get close, I think they [McLaren] have also just shown that you can close the gap and make up if the job is done right. That inspired us all to go for it,” added Lewis Hamilton.