Lewis Hamilton believes Mercedes have improved in a number of critical areas after a difficult 2022 campaign, describing it as a “valuable lesson” in their F1 journey thus far.
When F1’s turbo-hybrid era began in 2014, Hamilton and Mercedes went on an extraordinary winning streak, with the Briton adding six world titles to his total of seven, and the team claiming eight consecutive constructors’ titles.
In 2022, however, competitors Red Bull and Ferrari raced ahead as a result of a reset of the sport’s technological regulations, while Mercedes and its W13 challenger struggled to adapt to the changes.
Hamilton believes Mercedes are now in a much stronger position for the 2018 season, as the team looks to rejoin the front-running group and return to title contention on a race-by-race basis.
Reflecting on 2022, Hamilton remarked in an interview with Mercedes team partner Petronas, “I think we’ve evolved as a team, I think we’ve improved our processes and our communication, and I think it’s made us hungry.”
“This year has been different for me than past years when we were striving for victories. We were competing for our first-ever fifth-place finish; we felt like we had accomplished something during those moments. I believe it has been a valuable lesson and building block for all of us.”
Mercedes gradually improved the performance of the W13 as the 2022 season progressed, culminating in a breakthrough one-two finish in the Grand Prix of Sao Paulo, headed by Hamilton’s teammate, George Russell.
“To finish the season with a one-two in Brazil was, I believe, a tremendous boost for everyone. Hamilton remarked, “I probably couldn’t put into words how much it meant to everyone in the workplace and to me to be a part of that.”
“We’ve seen that we can do it, we’ve seen that we can return to our winning ways, we’ve got a taste of it, and I believe it’s made everyone even more hungry for success.”
On February 15, 2023, Mercedes will unveil the W14 at Silverstone, with Hamilton and Russell continuing to pilot the Silver Arrows.
Mercedes get back to F1 action as Russell and Hamilton hit the track at Paul Ricard
Mercedes drivers George Russell and Lewis Hamilton returned to F1 machinery this week for a Pirelli tire test at Paul Ricard in France.
Russell and Hamilton are preparing for their second season as teammates, with the Silver Arrows hoping to rebound from a difficult 2022 season that ended their amazing title-winning streak.
Mercedes released photographs on social media on Wednesday of Russell driving last year’s W13 machine on the former French Grand Prix circuit, saying that they have “missed this.”
The team then released images of Hamilton doing the same thing on Thursday, with the seven-time world champion spotted chatting with mechanics in the garage.
Next week, on February 7-8, both drivers are scheduled to participate in two days of additional W13 testing at the Spanish venue of Jerez.
Mercedes will debut their 2023 rival, the W14, at Silverstone on February 15, before all F1 teams fly to Bahrain for preseason testing from February 23 to 25.
Mick completes first Mercedes seat fit as he settles into reserve driver role
Mercedes has released images of reserve driver Mick Schumacher undergoing a seat fitting in preparation for the upcoming F1 season, during which he will give backup to Lewis Hamilton and George Russell.
Schumacher made his F1 debut with Haas in 2021 and stayed with the team through 2022, but he was replaced by Nico Hulkenberg in 2023 due to an inconsistent run of results that saw him earn 12 points from 43 starts.
With few full-time opportunities elsewhere on the grid, Schumacher ultimately signed with Mercedes as their new reserve driver, meaning the 23-year-old will replace Hamilton or Russell if they are unable to compete.
Tuesday evening, Mercedes-Benz released images showing a smiling Michael Schumacher seated in the cockpit and receiving a custom-fitted seat, should the aforementioned situation arise or for prospective testing responsibilities.
Schumacher’s contract with Mercedes follows in the footsteps of his father, seven-time F1 world champion Michael Schumacher, who raced for the Silver Arrows from 2010 to 2012, in addition to stints in sportscars and the DTM touring car series.
Schumacher junior, upon joining Mercedes, stated, “I am ecstatic to be a part of the Mercedes-AMG PETRONAS F1 Team as their reserve driver for 2023, and I am dedicated to giving my utmost to contribute to their performance in this extremely competitive and professional environment.”
“I view this as a new beginning, and I am thrilled and appreciative to Toto [Wolff, Mercedes team principal] and everyone involved for putting their faith in me.
“F1 is such a fascinating environment, and you never stop learning, so I’m looking forward to absorbing more information and giving my all for the Mercedes team.”