Lewis Hamilton hits the track for first time this season at Pirelli tyre test

Henry Valantine
Lewis Hamilton rounds Paul Ricard. France July 2022.

Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton gets laps under his belt in free practice at Paul Ricard. France July 2022.

Lewis Hamilton was back behind the wheel of the Mercedes W13 as he completed tyre testing at Paul Ricard on Thursday.

The seven-time World Champion took part in a day of testing for Pirelli to help them with their 2023 compounds in France, following on from team-mate George Russell’s work on Wednesday.

This was the first on-track action Hamilton has had so far in 2023, with last year’s Mercedes getting another run on-track – after the Briton failed to register a win in a season for the first time in his illustrious career as the car struggled with porpoising.

Hamilton spent the day testing new Pirelli rubber around Le Castellet, which has been dropped from the Formula 1 calendar in 2023, after a new deal was not agreed to keep France on the schedule.

Mercedes posted photos and videos of their drivers catching up with their mechanics before taking to the track for the first time this year, as they look to bounce back from a disappointing season by their standards in 2022.

Following the test, Mercedes also confirmed that both Hamilton and Russell will be back behind the wheel of the W13 next week, taking to Jerez in Spain for two more days of tyre testing on February 7 and 8.

Official pre-season testing in the W14 will take place in Bahrain from 23-25 February, before the season gets underway a week later at the same circuit.

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Mercedes confirmed the launch of the W14 will happen on 15 February, and have teased plenty of black-and-white imagery on their social media channels as they gear up for the new season to start – perhaps hinting that the car may return to the black colour scheme which adorned the Mercedes cars of 2020 and 2021.

Mercedes were also the first team to post on social media about firing up their new challenger, doing so for the first time before Christmas had even come around.

Hamilton will go in search for an eighth World Championship when the new year gets underway in Bahrain, looking to take the all-time record for number of titles in his own right.