Lewis Hamilton has praised the way that Mercedes developed this year’s car over the course of the season.
The W10 made a lacklustre start to the campaign in pre-season testing in February at Barcelona, where it was clearly second-best to Ferrari’s SF90.
But the Mercedes engineers got to work and were able to quickly turn things around, transforming it into a title-winning package as the year progressed.
“When we started this season, our car was actually a real heap to drive,” Hamilton admitted at the FIA Prize Gala in Paris when he received his trophy for a sixth world championship.
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“It wasn’t that great looking at the testing,” he continued. “We couldn’t quite get it in the window.
“It wasn’t until the last day that we got it to work, and then we went to the first race and we already had some great results.”
The team’s impressive 1-2 victory in Melbourne was a big surprise, and set the tone for the rest of the season where the Silver Arrows continually found a way to come out on top despite an ever-narrowing advantage over their rivals.
But while the season might have been one of the closest and hardest for Hamilton in recent times, he insisted it had also been one of the most enjoyable and that it had pushed him to new heights.
“It’s been a good year,” Hamilton said. “It’s been the best year I would say in my whole career.”
“Qualifying wasn’t as strong this year,” he subsequently told Motorsport.com. “Qualifying was still good, but it was a harder car to drive this year.
“But still, I was qualifying front row – top three quite often – and split the Ferraris when they all of a sudden had 30bhp more than everyone.