“I think that annoyed him back at the time and he just moved on”- Toto Wolff reveals how Lewis Hamilton took 2016 Championship defeat.
Lewis Hamilton has been invincible throughout his time with Mercedes except for the once when his teammate (arch-rival you could say) Nico Rosberg defeated him for the championship in 2016.
The time between 2014 and 2016 was seen as a difficult time for Mercedes when it came to the dressing room, the rivalry between the two soared and it often turned into media rants.
With som much going on, it would be evident that Hamilton would be taking it hard when Rosberg defeated him in the challenge for the Championship.
But in the recent interview, Toto Wolff has revealed that Hamilton was annoyed by the defeat but didn’t take it so hard on himself and never brought any change in him.
“I don’t think that played any role,” he said. “I think that annoyed him back at the time and he just moved on. I don’t think there was a particular thing to learn in that year. Nico was strong, Lewis had some DNFs leading races and at the end, it is what it is.”
“What I see or what I realised over the last years is his permanent self-analysis, how to get better, he’s become really good in identifying points of weaknesses and then tackling them.”
“And he has progressed over the years as a racing driver in the car and as a personality outside of the car. That is something that you see very rarely with people that are critical enough whilst not beating themselves up in order to progress.”
“Many others in Formula 1, or outside of Formula 1, you’re pretty stubborn, you’re not really good at identifying your own shortcomings and therefore you stagnate in your development.”
“And it’s a thinking pattern that with him simply doesn’t exist is that is the constant seek for perfection.”
Don’t want to compare Hamilton with greats from previous generations
Wolff was later asked about the comparison between Hamilton and greats from the past, but Wolff was hesitant to draw a comparison, be it inside and outside of motorsports.
“In any sport and also in motor racing, there were people that stood out. In motor racing, it was Fangio, it was Senna, Michael of course, Sebastian [Vettel] in the 2010s and now Lewis. And I don’t think you can compare them really, because every time had different competitors and needed different skill sets.
“But certainly amongst them, his sheer record stands out and he’s on a par with Michael today who for me, personally, was the greatest driver in Formula 1. Lewis is still in his career and he can maybe achieve more in terms of the sheer record.
All set for an immense #F1 weekend in Istanbul… Will it be a magnificent 7 for @LewisHamilton??#TurkishGP Highlights:
Qualifying Sat 4:30pm🇹🇷
Race Sun 4.00pm🏁#C4F1 @Channel4 pic.twitter.com/YrUtGMPoDw
— Channel 4 F1® (@C4F1) November 13, 2020
“In other sports this the same case, there are some very outstanding people that have really stood out. Roger for me is not only an amazing tennis player but he’s also a great personality. And within that generation you will have Roger and you will have Nadal and maybe that’s pretty much it, I think.
“You will have the same in golf and in soccer and in American football. You have these outstanding guys that have just natural ability, social intelligence and hard-working skills.”