LEWIS HAMILTON appeared ‘grumpy’ while pre-season filming ahead of the upcoming Formula One season, according to Martin Brundle.
Brundle, a former driver and long-time commentator, believes Hamilton is frustrated at the way negotiations with Mercedes turned out.
The seven-time Formula 1 champion only signed a one-year deal with Mercedes, weeks before pre-season testing in Bahrain.
Brundle was with Hamilton while filming features to go out later in the season and reflected on the Brit’s morale.
Speaking at a Sky F1 testing preview, he said: “We did a couple of features with him that we will play out through the year on Sky F1.
“He was very generous but a bit grumpy actually, I thought generally.
“It’s interesting that his right-hand man, Marc Hynes, is no longer working with him.
“I sensed he possibly wasn’t super happy with the way the negotiations have worked out at Mercedes.”
Hamilton’s short deal was due to a lack of negotiating time and opportunity, according to Mercedes chief Toto Wolff.
Brundle added that Hamilton’s mood improved but he still feels there will be real competition this season.
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He said: “I did say to him, ‘You’re going to burst through 100 poles this year at some point, most likely’.
“And he went, ‘Why?’ McLaren were a quarter of a second behind us in Abu Dhabi, now they’ve got our engine; what about Red Bull, maybe the high rake works; and don’t count out Ferrari, and the Aston Martin will be strong.
“He sort of really challenged me quite hard and I said, ‘Well, you have got 98 of them, mostly in the hybrid era, you scored 10 last year – there’s half a chance you’ll get two more this year’.
“But when we got over that little hurdle – because Lewis does love to poke you a little bit before you sit down to do stuff like that.
“I had an hour with him talking about that amazing race in Istanbul last year when he took his seventh world title and he was very generous on inside his head, inside his life of a grand prix weekend and how qualifying unfolds.”