Lewis Hamilton rejected any notion that his sixth world championship was down to Mercedes simply having the best car on the grid, pointing to a straight-line advantage led by Ferrari for the entire 2019 campaign.
While Ferrari’s straight-line prowess has been impressive, it took them until after the summer break to unlock the SF90’s full potential, by which time Mercedes and Hamilton were already cruising to championship glory.
But Hamilton says that adds to his on-track efforts in leaving him satisfied with another job well done in 2019 that moves him into outright second on F1’s honour roll.
Hamilton said of Ferrari: “You saw that advantage they had through the season, and even last year. They had a huge amount of power, but more so this year, out of nowhere, had a tonne of power and I really just think, at will, whenever they wanted they seemed to have more.
“Winning world titles… there’s not a single driver in the past that’s won a title without having a great team around him. There’s not a single world tennis player that’s won a title without having a great team around him.
“It’s part of the game and it’s how you navigate, and how you utilise those tools that are around you and those people around you to shape the future of the journey that you guys are on.
“And I’m just a chink the chain with this team but I feel very, very privileged and feel very… I feel really happy with my contribution.
“That I’ve been able to help steer the team in the right direction with the development, with the way the car needs to get quicker. And, more often than not [I] have delivered performances for them when we’ve had a car that’s quicker than the others and also when the car has not been as quick as the others.
“Particularly that last year, they [Ferrari] were just too quick for us to beat but we out-willed them, we had to out-think them and we did that collectively as a team.”