Hamilton has ‘full confidence’ in Mercedes after testing the W15 in the wind tunnel
On Thursday, Hamilton went to both the race team at Brackley and the HPP engine department at Brixworth for a final debriefing on 2023 before heading off on his winter break.
He says that the atmosphere in the camp is “positive” after the team achieved second place in the constructors’ championship despite a difficult season that did not witness any victories.
“I’ve been very busy. It’s been a very long year, but just tying up all the loose ends, working with the team,” Hamilton said ahead of the FIA Awards on Friday.
“I was in the team yesterday just to thank everyone for the great job they’ve done all year. It’s a special time of year, coming to an end and seeing where we go next.”
When asked about the mood he found at the factory, he said: “The mood is very positive. I think all the team members are very grateful to have finished second in the Constructors’ Championship given the challenges we have faced this season.” And so it’s always quite emotional.
“I’ve been with the team for a long time, but every time you come back to Brixworth and Brackley, you’re reminded of how strong a team it is that pushes you forward from behind.
“And you see everyone, some new people in the team who have joined while I’ve been here, some who have been before, and also some people who have worked on my engine since my first Grand Prix in Formula 1. It’s amazing to just see the progress and growth.
“Our team has also become more diverse, which I’m really happy to see is that we’re moving in the right direction.”
Photography: Steve Etherington/Motorsports Images
Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes F1 W14
Hamilton has made a habit of visiting to check on the progress he has made in next year’s W15 championship, although he admits it is difficult to make an accurate judgment about the team’s position with the new car.
“I think it’s always difficult. I’m not an engineer or designer. So it’s not easy. It’s always an exciting time of year because I’ve seen the car in the wind tunnel, and I’m always passing by it,” he said. Wind tunnel When I go into the factory, I see it developing in whatever direction it ends up going.
“Literally, when I was leaving yesterday again, I went in just to see where we were, and when I came back, it would be a different animal again.
“I have full confidence in everyone working on it. I hope we will be in a more competitive position next year.”
Hamilton admitted that the 2023 season was difficult, as the team knew from the first round with the W14 that it would not be a title-winning car.
He added: “There are ups and downs in all seasons, and there have been ups and downs.”
“From the moment we started driving the car at Silverstone, knowing that we were probably not going to fight for the championship, we refocus, reset our goals, and then work to catch up.
“I think it was really pleasing to see that we never gave up, nobody on the team gave up. Everyone stayed positive, and the way everyone showed up was very encouraging to me.
“I think we’re all always learning more about just appreciating the moment, appreciating everyone on the team and those results that we get, and when we finally get a podium finish, we appreciate it maybe more than ever before.
“And I think it’s clear that (the pole) in Budapest was the highlight, and it’s a track that I love. And to be dethroned by Red Bull for just one moment in a way gave us a lot of hope, knowing that if we keep pushing, we might get there.”