Lewis Hamilton has been praised for his leadership of the Mercedes team, particularly during a challenging year for the reigning constructors' champions.

As a seven-time world champion, the prospect of not winning a race for an entire season was not something Hamilton would have expected ahead of the season,

Mercedes have struggled all year with neither Hamilton nor team-mate George Russell ever looking in serious contention for a race win,

let alone a championship battle. Still, while other superstars may have sulked, Hamilton has been praised for doing just the opposite.

Mercedes technical director Mike Elliott praised Hamilton for the leadership he has shown in the team, saying he worked for hours to make the team do its best.

"To be fair, both of our drivers have been great this year," Elliott told reporters at the team bosses' press conference at the Japanese Grand Prix.

“I think Lewis is pushing the team. I think he does a great job of giving us feedback. He works really hard. His work ethic hasn't changed at all this year.

I guess what you expect from a character like Lewis - is to lead properly, to bring energy to the team properly. I think that's what we need for a hard winter."