The seven-time world champion has suffered his worst season in F1 by finishing sixth in the drivers’ standings, marking the first time since making his debut in 2007 that he has failed to finish inside the top five in the championship.
Hamilton took nine podiums but failed to win or take a pole position for the first time in his illustrious 16-year career as Mercedes struggled for competitiveness with their troubled W13 challenger.
Hamilton also finished behind a teammate for just the third time, with George Russell securing fourth, two places and 35 points ahead.
In 2011, Hamilton finished fifth in the championship and won three times, but faced lows in his personal life amid relationship troubles with his father Anthony and then-girlfriend Nicole Scherzinger.
Asked if he feels it is the worst season of his F1 career, Hamilton replied: “No, I think 2011 was probably the hardest year I had, just in terms of life.
“This year is not the greatest, it is up there with probably the top three of the worst seasons, but it’s been a much stronger year in terms of myself, in terms of how it worked with the team, how we’ve all stayed united. So I think there’s been lots of pluses.”
Hamilton’s season ended with a disappointing retirement after his car suffered a suspected hydraulic failure two laps from the end while running in fourth place.
“I am very pleased it is over and done with,” Hamilton admitted.
“I always believed right until the last race that there was potentially a chance. So I think it’s important to hold on to hope and, and just keep working.
“I gave it everything and I think it was ultimately the last race was almost like the whole season – it summed up my whole year.”
After qualifying well off the pace on Saturday, Hamilton said he was “looking forward” to never driving the W13 again.
The Briton is scheduled to drive his 2022 challenger once more during Tuesday’s post-season test, but joked he may pretend to be sick.
“I might have to call a sickie,” Hamilton said. “Like maybe my back is hurting or something!”
Hamilton was also asked how he felt about losing his record of taking at least one grand prix victory in every season he has contested.
“Honestly, it would have been nice to have a win, but one win is not really enough is it?” Hamilton said.
“So I feel like this year, when we got our first fifth, it felt like a win. When we got our first fourth, it felt like a win.
“When we got our first podium, it felt like a win and those seconds felt like as if we really achieved something, so I’ll just hold on to those.”