Lewis Hamilton revisited his frustrations at the start of F1 2023 over feeling his input was ignored by Mercedes, as he puts his faith in the team to avoid a repeat of past mistakes.
Mercedes made the decision to stick with their unique ‘zero-pod’ take on the ground effect regulations for F1 2023, but it did not take them long at all to realise they had made a mistake.
The Monaco Grand Prix marked the start of Mercedes’ transition away from this approach, that coming several months after their seven-time World Champion Hamilton had made it be known exactly how he felt about the situation.
Lewis Hamilton hopes Mercedes faith rewarded
Hamilton removed the filter in early F1 2023 to vent his frustrations, claiming Mercedes had not listened to his comments on what the W14 needed, a challenger which resulted in Mercedes’ first winless season since 2011.
But, despite rumours building over Hamilton’s potential exit from Mercedes at the end of his deal, reports strongly linking him to Ferrari, while Red Bull were also name-dropped, Hamilton would put pen to paper on fresh Mercedes terms, taking him through to the end of 2025.
A return to the title picture is the goal for F1 2024, Hamilton hoping that his team has now learned from the mistakes to deliver the major chunk of performance needed to lay a glove on F1’s dominant force Red Bull.
Asked if he put thought to leaving Mercedes or retiring during his latest contract talks, Hamilton told Motorsport.com: “No, not when we were doing negotiations.
“I do have faith that we will get there. We have been here before as a team and while we have more and more new people, we still have great values, and I see great focus within everyone.
“It’s just having really good conversations with everyone back at the factory, that they actually make the changes and make the right decisions, and that so easily can go the wrong way.
“I think for this year they thought the fundamentals were good and it was not the case. That’s why I was frustrated in February because they hadn’t made the changes I’d asked [for].
“But with the changes we are making, I hope we are right. But I guess we have no idea what the Red Bulls are going to do.”
Mercedes team boss Toto Wolff has said a “more conventional” W15 will hit the grid for F1 2024, hinting at a further swerve towards the Red Bull concept.