Lewis Hamilton is marking the days and weeks off the calendar until Mercedes start their “new” direction with the W14.
The early rounds of F1 2023 have sadly sent Mercedes back to the dark days of around this time last year, their latest creation, the W14, another challenger which is currently proving unworthy of mounting a title challenge against the dominant Red Bull outfit.
But Mercedes are not planning on standing still, and while the team has not revealed exactly what their looming major upgrade package looks like, team boss Toto Wolff has promised that the “layout” of the W14 will change.
And, while Hamilton says it is not yet clear how much of a performance boost these upgrades will bring out of the blocks, he is just excited for them to arrive so Mercedes can take their first steps down this different route.
“I think we knew already from early on that we would have quite a few races until this upgrade, so it’s been just counting the days down or counting the weeks down,” he told Sky Sports F1.
“We don’t currently quite know exactly how good the upgrade will be, but we know it will be a start of something new for us.”
It is expected that the new-look W14 will arrive for the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix at Imola, so with Baku now in the books, Hamilton there finishing the lowest he has all season in P6, it means only one round remains before the upgrades arrive.
And that round is Miami, Hamilton hoping that Mercedes can have a stronger showing there than they did last year, when a bouncing W13 was causing headaches in more ways than one as he claimed P6.
Hamilton understandably has already ruled out challenging Red Bull at the Miami International Autodrome, but if they can take the fight to P2 team Aston Martin, who are 11 points clear of Mercedes in the Constructors’ standings, then Hamilton would be very happy with that.
“Miami should be, I hope it’s better pace wise, last year we were bouncing there a lot, so I think we’re in a much better place this year with our car,” said Hamilton. “So hopefully we’re a little bit closer to the guys there.
“Might not be as close to the Red Bulls because they’re rapid, but maybe we can fight the Astons maybe, that would be amazing.”
George Russell would cross the line P8 in Baku in the sister Mercedes, the combined total of 13 points the lowest which Mercedes have taken away from a Grand Prix so far in F1 2023.
Their tally for the weekend was at least boosted though by the seven points scored between Russell and Hamilton in the Saturday sprint.