Hamilton stunned by how far McLaren have fallen

Sat Sep 5, 2015 6:07am EDT
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By Alan Baldwin

MONZA, Italy (Reuters) - Formula One champion Lewis Hamilton, who won his first title with McLaren in 2008, says he is shocked at how far the sport's second most successful team have fallen since he left for Mercedes.

Woking-based McLaren have not won a race since 2012 while Hamilton's title, making him at the time the youngest champion in the sport, remains their most recent.

"It doesn't look like a McLaren," Hamilton said at the Italian Grand Prix when asked whether he did a double-take when, as has happened frequently this season, he lapped Fernando Alonso and Jenson Button.

"It feels very weird when you look at the board and you think of this historic team, which is fighting with Marussia. And Marussia is relatively close on maybe a third of the budget or whatever. Maybe an eighth.

"It just doesn't make sense. I still can't believe today that the team has got to that point," he told British reporters.

McLaren started a new partnership with Honda this season but the Japanese V6 turbo hybrid power unit has had a troubled debut.

McLaren are ninth of 10 teams and have scored just 17 points so far.

Hamilton, winner of six grands prix this year and on pole 10 times in 11 rounds, scored more points in the first race alone than McLaren have all year.   Continued...

Mercedes Formula One driver Lewis Hamilton of Britain is seen in the box during the first free practice session for the Italian F1 Grand Prix in Monza.  REUTERS/Max Rossi