Lewis Hamilton recently visited both the Mercedes racing team in Brackley and the HPP engine division in Brixworth, rounding off his 2023 commitments before embarking on his winter holiday. He expressed a buoyant mood within the team, especially after clinching second in the constructors’ championship, despite a year without victories.
Hamilton, speaking before the FIA prizegiving gala on Friday, shared, “It’s been a non-stop year. Just finalizing everything, collaborating closely with the team. Yesterday, I was with the team, expressing my gratitude for their remarkable efforts throughout the year. It’s a reflective time – we’re slowing down, contemplating our next steps.”
Inquiring about the atmosphere he encountered at the factory, Hamilton noted, “It’s overwhelmingly positive. Everyone in the team deeply appreciates our second-place finish in the constructors’, especially given this season’s hurdles. There’s always a bit of emotion involved.
“Having been with the team for years, each visit to Brixworth and Brackley is a reminder of the extensive support system behind me. It’s fascinating to see both familiar faces and new members, some of whom have been part of my journey since my debut in F1. The growth and progress, and notably the increasing diversity within the team, are truly heartening.”
Hamilton took advantage of his visit to gauge the development of next year’s W15, though he acknowledged the difficulty in assessing the new car’s potential due to his non-engineering background.
“It’s always a challenge,” he admitted. “I’m not an engineer or a designer. But it’s an exhilarating time because I’ve seen the car in the wind tunnel. Each visit to the factory brings a glimpse of its evolution.
“Right before leaving yesterday, I checked in again. When I return, it will have transformed further. I have absolute trust in our team and am optimistic that we’ll be more competitive next year.”
Reflecting on the 2023 season, Hamilton conceded that it was challenging, particularly after the initial realization that the W14 wouldn’t be a championship contender.
“There were highs and lows throughout the season,” he said. “The first test drive at Silverstone made it clear we weren’t in contention for the championship. We had to reorient our goals and strive to catch up.
“It’s heartening to see the team’s resilience; no one lost hope. Everyone remained optimistic and committed, which was incredibly motivating.
“We’re constantly learning to value the present, appreciate every team member, and cherish our achievements. When we do reach the podium, it feels more rewarding than ever. The [pole in] Budapest was a highlight, a testament to our potential. It gave us hope that with continued effort, we could eventually reach our goals.”
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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Lewis Hamilton Mercedes F1
What did Lewis Hamilton say about the Mercedes F1 team’s performance in the 2023 season?
Hamilton acknowledged the challenges faced during the season but remained positive about the team’s efforts, especially appreciating the second-place finish in the constructors’ championship. He highlighted the team’s resilience and motivation, despite not being in contention for the championship from the start.
How does Lewis Hamilton feel about the development of the Mercedes W15 car?
Hamilton expressed his excitement and curiosity about the development of the W15 car. Although not an engineer himself, he showed great interest in the car’s evolution and has full faith in the team’s ability to make it more competitive for the upcoming season.
What did Lewis Hamilton note about the team’s diversity?
Hamilton was particularly pleased with the increasing diversity within the Mercedes F1 team. He finds it heartening to see the team moving in the right direction, with a mix of longstanding members and new joiners contributing to the team’s growth.
What were the highlights of the 2023 season for Hamilton and Mercedes?
For Hamilton, the highlight was achieving the pole position in Budapest, which gave the team hope and showcased their potential. He also appreciated the team’s never-give-up attitude throughout the season, despite realizing early on that they were not in a position to fight for the championship.
What is Hamilton’s outlook for the next Formula 1 season with Mercedes?
Hamilton is optimistic about the upcoming season. He trusts the team working on the W15 and hopes for a more competitive performance. His visit to the factory and seeing the car in the wind tunnel reinforced his belief in the team’s capabilities and direction.