Fighting talk as Lewis Hamilton reveals what he doesn’t ‘plan on this year’

Michelle Foster
Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton speaks to the media at the 2023 Singapore Grand Prix.

Lewis Hamilton speaks to the media.

Despite conceding Red Bull will likely “blitz” the Brazilian GP, Lewis Hamilton is determined to be in the running should something happen as he doesn’t want another win-less season.

Formula 1’s switch to ground-effect aerodynamics brought an end to the Mercedes’ juggernaut that had been rolling for eight years, last year marking the first time since 2014 that the team didn’t win one of the championship titles.

Instead, the Drivers’ and Constructors’ Championships belonged to Red Bull with the Milton Keynes squad building on their 2022 success to reach unprecedented heights this year by winning all but one of the 19 Grands Prix.

Lewis Hamilton doesn’t plan on having another win-less season

It has rivals admitting Red Bull, and most probably Max Verstappen given he already has 16 wins on the board, will wrap up the last three victories too starting this weekend with the Brazilian Grand Prix.

But on the off chance something goes wrong for Red Bull, Hamilton is determined to be in the mix as he doesn’t want to end another season without a win.

“I anticipate the Red Bull’s going to blitz it because the car has been great, but if that’s not the case, then I’ll be ready to take the fight to them,” said the seven-time World Champion.

“If it can be anything like Austin and we can get the strategy better, then that would be incredible.

“I came away empty-handed last year, so I don’t plan on that this year.”

But, he added: “I expect the Red Bull to be very fast, as always. It seems to work pretty much everywhere, except for Singapore. We expect the Ferraris to be quick.

“I hope that our car works well here, like it did for Austin, but you can just never predict – it could be bad, it could be good, so we’ll just try to prepare the best way we can.”

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Mercedes drivers not getting carried away

Last season Mercedes claimed just one victory as George Russell lead Hamilton across the line at the Brazilian Grand Prix.

Whether they can do it again this season in the recently upgraded W14 with its new floor remains to be seen but Hamilton says he’s not getting carried away with the team’s recent upswing in form.

“After the last couple of races, you get messages from people saying, ‘it’s looking good!’ I’m like, ‘yeah, it was looking good at the end of last year too, but we started 1.5 seconds at the start of the year’,” he said.

“So I’m not dazzled by where we are currently. I’m happy and proud. The only reason I’m on the podium is the great work that’s gone on in the background.

“But I’m thinking quite long-term at the moment, and then short-term just trying to solidify second in the constructors’ (championship) because that’s so important for everyone within the team.”

Hamilton will line up on the Sao Paulo Grand Prix grid 20 points behind Sergio Perez with 86 points still in play.

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