Lewis Hamilton has been selective about what he wants to see maintained from Mercedes’ troublesome W13 on their new car, with the seven-time World Champion only hoping to see its reliability and race pace replicated on their 2023 challenger.
Mercedes’ 2022 car was the first which has not provided the base for Hamilton to earn a race win through a season for his entire Formula 1 career, with the team struggling to get on top of problems with porpoising, caused by the new ground effect aerodynamic regulations.
While Red Bull and Ferrari were able to streak into the distance, Hamilton often opted to take more experimental setups with his car, particularly in the first half of the season, as Mercedes searched for a way to get back on the pace.
The seven-time World Champion was far from complimentary about the W13 on multiple occasions last year, with Hamilton appearing in particular pain after a bounce-filled Azerbaijan Grand Prix, as one example.
But despite Mercedes’ issues, he still managed to take nine podium finishes through the year and the team’s speed markedly improved as the season progressed, with team-mate George Russell heading a one-two finish in Sao Paulo in the penultimate race of the year.
And given that the Silver Arrows’ only mechanical retirement last year came through a hydraulics failure for Hamilton two laps before the end of the season in Abu Dhabi, he hopes to see that reliable streak continue with the all-new W14 this time around.
While Mercedes often struggled in qualifying too last season, the 103-time race winner added that he wants to see Mercedes retain their improved performance on Sundays in 2023.
“The only thing that we would want to keep would be that our long run pace was very strong last year,” Hamilton told media including PlanetF1.com.
“I think that was our race pace was always stronger, so I would say that’s probably the only element that we really want to carry on into this season – and also reliability.
“So those two, those two are the things I think that we definitely want to hold on to. But all the other stuff, we want to really reinvent, redesign and hopefully [we will] see a more efficient car.”
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But when it comes to looking at the season as a whole, Hamilton was tight-lipped on exactly what Mercedes’ plans would be when it comes to approaching the year ahead, but he thinks the team is ready to deal with whatever is thrown their way more quickly this time around, after their comparative struggles last season.
“I couldn’t tell you what our strategy is but everyone in the team wants to win,” Hamilton stated.
“There is a strategy, there is a development plan, it’s been explained to us in detail and I have full trust in in the team.
“But as I said, it’s not until we get the car on the road and we figure out what it’s doing and where the limitations are, can we then steer the rudder and develop in that direction.
“But the great thing is we’ve got, I think, two strong drivers and we [have] similar kind of driving styles.
“So it’ll be clear straight away, I think, if there are issues what those would be, and I think the guys understand the car much more to be able to deal with it.”