Lewis Hamilton Is His Own Worst Enemy in Quest for F1 Championship

The secret to Mercedes and Lewis Hamilton’s sealing the deal and winning Formula 1 championships is pretty simple, according to team principal Toto Wolff.

Steer clear of penalties.

Although the decision to add two more penalty points to Lewis Hamilton’s Super Licence at Sochi was rescinded, the 10-second penalty for illegal practice starts along pit lane during the pre-race in Sochi was game changing. Hamilton also was penalized in Italy for entering the pits during when the pits were closed.

Both penalties cost Hamilton potential race wins. He’s won six of the first 10 races.

“We must not run into penalties in the next races,” Wolff said.

“Both drivers. (Red Bull’s Max) Verstappen is always on the hunt and I want neither of them to lose a race because (Mercedes’) Valtteri (Bottas) and Lewis can both win the championship.”

Wolff’s comments come as Hamilton publicly backed away from his suggestion that the FIA and Formula 1 are deliberately trying to stop his dominance.

“I may not always get it right in the face of adversity,” Hamilton said on social media on Tuesday.

“I may not always react the way you want me to when tensions are high, but I am only human after all and I am passionate about what I do. I’m learning and growing every day, and I’ll take my lessons and keep fighting on to the next one.”


Despite Hamilton and Mercedes’ superiority in 2020, there is still great uncertainty about the future. Neither Wolff nor Hamilton are yet under contract for 2021.

“Perhaps my role will be different in the future,” Wolff said. “We don’t want to create a bottleneck where young talents can no longer advance, so we are taking a look at each role, including that of the team boss.

“I am a co-owner of the racing team, so I’m not going to say ‘That’s it, I’m gone’. I am just thinking about what my role should look like in the longer term.”

Wolff also said there is no basis to reports that team sponsor Ineos is looking to buy the Mercedes team, and that a new contract with Hamilton is likely.

“There’s a connection between Lewis and me that has grown stronger over the years,” he said. “We had some difficult times and we didn’t always agree, but we always left that behind and grew together. We know that when the going gets tough, we can rely on each other.

“He’s just a pleasure to work with and I think he enjoys working with me too. We can still achieve a lot together.”

What do you say? Is Lewis Hamilton losing it in his quest for a seventh F1 championship?

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