LONDON, United Kingdom, Mar 10 – Renault’s Daniel Ricciardo feels Lewis Hamilton deserves a lot of credit for all that he has achieved at Mercedes despite facing constant pressure.
Hamilton is bidding for a seventh World Championship title in 2020 and, if successful, it would put him on a par with Michael Schumacher on the all-time World Championship list.
The Brit has regularly been given a car that is capable of providing him and his Mercedes team with title glory, but Ricciardo thinks that his ability to deal with the weight of expectation is an attribute that goes underappreciated.
“Where a lot of people don’t give Lewis his due is that while he’s had the best car for the past few years and maybe he’s had it easier than others, his teammates have as well, and he’s gone out and delivered,” Ricciardo said via the Sydney Morning Herald.
“I can relate to some of what Lewis goes through because I’ve fought for wins, but I can’t relate to everything – I’ve not been to Abu Dhabi for the last race with the title on the line and he has, and most times he’s come out on top.
“To deal with that kind of constant pressure, that in itself makes you a strong character. I respect that 100 per cent, and you can’t take that away from him.”
Ricciardo’s new team-mate at Renault, Esteban Ocon, also had high praise for Hamilton having worked with him during his time with the Silver Arrows.
“People would say ‘he doesn’t work that hard’, but it’s not true,” Ocon said.
“Lewis has a very full life, but he uses his time very well to work. While that seems like an easy thing, it’s difficult in F1 to switch back and focus on one thing to another, and he does that brilliantly.
“What was very impressive to see is that he manages to do everything at such a high level, and on the track, he is an animal.”