Lewis Hamilton has put his faith in Mercedes to produce a title-challenging car this year – and feels the team can work through any teething problems to find more speed should they be off the pace at the start of the year.
Pre-season running started in earnest in Barcelona on Wednesday morning, with Hamilton getting his first taste of the W13 in the afternoon session after George Russell had driven in the morning.
Hamilton was seen taking a keen interest in how others have designed their cars for the new campaign, with the 2022 regulations having provided a blank slate and added unknowns in terms of how the field will shape up this season.
Mercedes are looking to win a ninth Constructors’ Championship crown in succession, and the seven-time former World Champion hopes the new rules will see more teams running in closer proximity to each other this year.
All eyes on the Red Bull, even Lewis Hamilton's… https://t.co/6VyhFxIB0T
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“Every year is exciting but this one is completely brand new,” Hamilton told reporters. “I’ve seen designs of our car obviously, but this is the first time you get to see the other teams out there on track.
“You want to keep a close eye and see why others have taken a different route. You have no idea where you stand, so it’s definitely exciting.
“I hope these rules deliver in terms of closer racing. It puts everyone on a closer playing field.”
Drivers and engineers throughout Formula 1 have spoken regularly about the seismic changes made in the sport this year, with the possibility some teams could find their way further up the field and others with previous success may fall away.
While some kind of shake-up in the order is likely, Hamilton has full faith Mercedes will continue to give him the platform to challenge for the title in 2022.
“Why would I ever feel that way? My team don’t make mistakes,” the seven-time former World Champion said unequivocally when asked if he feels Mercedes may not produce a front-running car this year.
“Of course that’s a risk [with the 2022 regulations] but I trust the team. Whether it’s good or bad. we will work through it.”
The teams will continue to run their new cars in Barcelona on Thursday and Friday before heading to Bahrain for the official pre-season test from March 10-12.
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