As well as Mercedes and Ferrari, Lewis Hamilton would also like to see teams like Alpine and McLaren taking the fight to Red Bull in 2023.
2022 was the first season where Formula 1’s all-new Technical Regulations were in operation, but besides floor changes designed to tackle the issue of porpoising, the rules otherwise are set to remain pretty stable for 2023.
This then will allow the teams to put their lessons learned from 2022 into their new challengers, which it is hoped will lead to a more competitive grid, the main aim of these regulations alongside increasing overtaking opportunities.
Red Bull romped to a 2022 title double, winning 17 of the 22 grands prix, though Ferrari were right there for pace in the first-half of the season, while Mercedes scored a one-two finish at the Sao Paulo Grand Prix.
It is Hamilton’s hope then that this trio engages in a 2023 title scrap, while he would be happy if 2022’s midfield leader Alpine and his former team McLaren also joined the conversation.
“I’d like to think that we’re going to be the ones that are competing with them and being able to beat them [Red Bull] again, I do believe that for sure,” said Hamilton, as per the Formula 1 website.
“But I really hope that Ferrari are strong in the following years. They’ve definitely had a difficult year [in 2022] but there’s been some strong signs, obviously, that you’ve seen this year, which has been nice to see. And it’s been nice to see Ferrari doing well again.
“So, I hope that it’s more than a two-way battle next year. I hope there’s at least three of us. If not, surprisingly, maybe more. Like, why can’t McLaren be there? We’ll see. Or even Alpine has been doing amazing. So, we’ll see.”
Lewis Hamilton may battle Alpine at the front, McLaren unlikely
Alpine did not have the greatest of starts to this new era of Formula 1, though like McLaren, the team battled back across the 2022 campaign to finish it at the head of the midfield.
It was Alpine though who seemed the most impressive, their P4 finish and 14-point gap over McLaren in the Constructors’ made less emphatic by multiple points-costing reliability problems.
There was also clear progression for the French outfit with each upgrade package they introduced, the team now targeting further gains through 2023.
McLaren meanwhile are still getting their infrastructure up to date and want to rejoin the conversation at the front in 2024, which does seem like a more realistic time for that team to be picking up regular wins once again.
So, while for Alpine too it will be a big ask to eliminate that gap to the top three so suddenly, they seem like the only member of 2022’s midfield that could realistically do it.