'Openly critical' debriefs at Mercedes are vital, says Hamilton

Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 W09
© XPB 

Lewis Hamilton says that "openly critical" debriefs at Brackley are vital if Mercedes is to dig itself out of its present slump.

Hamilton lost the lead of the drivers championship when he was only able to finish in fifth place in the Canadian Grand Prix.

He's now all too aware that it's going to take a major drive from everyone involved to get the Silver Arrows back on top of their main rivals Ferrari and Red Bull in 2018.

“We as a team have all sat down and each and every person have been critical of themselves, including me,” Hamilton told reporters this week.

“We come here determined, each and every single one of us, to do a better job. As I said, including me.

“We all can do better, we can all squeeze more juice out of ourselves, and out of the car.

“Not performing at my true potential, that’s the hardest thing," he admitted. "It’s knowing that we can be better, and that we’re not delivering when we’ve prepared and practised and worked hard.

"In those periods of time is when you learn most."

Hamilton admitted that the last outing in Montreal had been "a very, very average weekend performance-wise" - all the more so as it has been at a circuit that was usually one of the team's strongest.

"We’ve got to make sure we are in tip-top shape moving forward," he said.

Hamilton added that a vital part of the Mercedes approach was pulling no punches when it came to post-race debriefs.

“We had really good meetings afterwards," he said. "People were openly critical of themselves.

"There were great discussions where the team was able to be open with each other and say honestly: ‘This could be better.’

"About each other as well, and things that I know I can do better, which I’m planning to do.”

“That is something Toto installed in the team ages ago," Hamilton explained. "When they have their big meetings back at the factory they are very, very openly critical."

Hamilton said that while people naturally got sensitive and defensive, nothing was off limits in that environment.

“Naturally, everyone is shedding their blood, sweat and tears to make sure we win this season. Everyone feels the pain and ups and downs.

"But the cool thing is that when you come out of those meetings everyone acknowledges: 'You know what, there are things I can do better, now I will do better rather than making excuses.’

"That's why this is a winning team," he insisted. "W all acknowledge that we can do better. And to have solutions in terms of how to go and execute better I think is a great thing at this stage.”

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