Lewis Hamilton has slammed naysayers after comments about the 7-time world champion retiring made headlines this F1 season. Red Bull’s Helmut Marko was one of these people, saying that the Mercedes drivers should have retired after the 2021 season’s controversial ending.
2022 hasn’t been a good year for Hamilton or Mercedes, with only a few lucky breaks leaving the team third in the Constructor Standings behind Ferrari (1st) and Red Bull (2nd). And after he promised he’d fight harder than ever to take his 8th championship win, his car hasn’t got the performance to match his intent.
During a press conference during the Miami Grand Prix weekend, Hamilton reacted to Marko’s questioning of his retirement, and it’s safe to say he wasn’t enjoying the idea:
“I don’t listen to those silly comments, to be honest.
“Ultimately, I mean, there’s a… it’s been interesting to see there’s quite a lot of disrespectful comments that I’ve seen over time, but it’s to be expected.
“And yeah, I just keep my head down. I know who I am. I know what I do. I love what I do.
“Going through a tough time. We didn’t come out of the starting blocks the way we wanted, but we are fighters. And if you don’t know that about me, you just don’t know me and that’s totally fine.
“I’ll be doing my best to huddle up and group up with the team and fight as hard as we can.”
Miami’s qualifying run went better for Hamilton than fans expected, with him reaching 6th place on the grid, 6 places in front of teammate George Russell. But after a season of lackluster performance from the W13, Hamilton is keen to ignore negativity so he can focus on being optimistic:
“I tried to ignore the negative I see,” he told the press. “I’m not really watching the news a lot, but there’s so many inspiring characters out there. And I think just continuously proving you never give up, you keep pushing.
“And I love working with this team. Being in a team is such a privilege and working with so many people towards a common goal. And everyone lifted each other up.
“I’ve had amazing conversations with my teammates in this past week. Incredible how supportive everyone has been through the difficult times, and then we’ve had the most incredible times together.
“So, you know, a couple of bad races won’t stop us in our tracks. This is where we unite. This is where we learn more about ourselves as individuals. This is where we grow the most.
“And it makes that eventual success – which I have no doubts we will eventually get to – taste even better.”