Lewis Hamilton has admitted “getting my head in the right place” is among his top priorities for the winter after a “killer” F1 2023 season.
Hamilton suffered his second consecutive winless season in 2023, having managed at least one win in every year of his career between his debut in 2007 and 2021.
The seven-time World Champions remains without a victory since the penultimate round of the 2021 season in Saudi Arabia, with former title rival Max Verstappen winning 44 races over the last three years.
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Hamilton eventually finished third in the 2023 Drivers’ standings, claiming a record-extending 104th pole position at July’s Hungarian Grand Prix.
The 38-year-old occasionally let his frustrations show in 2023, accusing the Mercedes technical team of ignoring his guidance over the design of the W14 car after a poor performance at the season opener in Bahrain.
In the aftermath of September’s Japanese Grand Prix, meanwhile, Hamilton claimed Mercedes require “the greatest six months of development ever” to stand any chance of taking the fight to Verstappen’s dominant Red Bull team in 2024.
After his frustrations with the W14 design, Hamilton has vowed to maintain constant contact with a range of departments over the winter break.
But he has stressed the need to switch off at the end of a long season, which concluded with five races in six weeks including an energy-sapping Las Vegas-Abu Dhabi double header.
He told Sky Sports: “We have had so much work that we’ve done through the year. I am on a group Teams chat basically with different departments and I will always be checking in. But, of course, I am going to unplug.
“I have to leave the guys to do what they do best. But I’m always going to be like: ‘Hey, I wonder how it’s going?’
“And then, on top of that, I’ve got to get my head in the right place, I’ve got to get fit, prepare for the next season and spend some time with my family.
“It’s been a killer season.”
Next season’s calendar is set to feature a record 24 rounds, with China and Emilia Romagna returning to the schedule after both races were cancelled in 2023.