Speaking with the media during press conferences ahead of this weekend’s Saudi Arabian Grand Prix, Lewis Hamilton asserted his confidence in Mercedes, and declared that victories are in his future.
It has been a slow start to the season for Mercedes, mirroring the bumpy beginning to their 2022 campaign. Following his fifth-place finish in the season-opening race — and the seventh-place finish from teammate George Russell — Hamilton conceded that Mercedes was “fourth fastest” on the grid.
He also shared his frustration that Mercedes did not listen to him on the design of the W14, their challenger for the 2023 season.
Thursday when meeting with the media, Hamilton addressed those comments, and more. “I mean, in hindsight, I think looking back, it wasn’t necessarily the best choice of words,” Hamilton shared when asked about his post-race comments on the W14. “[T]here are times when you’re not in agreement with certain team members. What’s important is that we continue to communicate, we continue to pull together.”
However, Hamilton still has thoughts on the design for this season, and he reiterated those on Thursday. “I knew that we weren’t in the right place when you saw the car for the first time, it looked still so much different to those of our competitors,” he said during the Thursday media session. “It’s always nerve-wracking in that moment, but it looked nice – obviously the color looks nice but I honestly don’t care what color it is as long as it’s quick. But we will hopefully mould it into a winning car at some stage.”
With his last victory coming at Jeddah Corniche Circuit — the site of this weekend’s Grand Prix — Hamilton maintained that wins are in his future. “I will win again. It’s just going to take some time,” said the seven-time World Champion. “Of course, in 2021 when we were here, we were hoping to be fighting for another world championship.”
Ahead of this weekend’s race, Team Principal Toto Wolff previewed the Grand Prix for the media. Wolff outlined that developments are coming to the W14, but that changes will be small at first, and that improvements will not come overnight. “We are bringing some small developments to the car,” he outlined in a statement to the media, including SB Nation. “They won’t be game changers, but they can start moving us in the right direction. And we’ll be pushing as hard as we can to create opportunities, and hopefully will give us a better account of ourselves than in Bahrain.”
We will get our first look at Mercedes, and the rest of the field, during open practices on Friday. Whether Mercedes can begin to battle back this weekend remains to be seen, but for his part, Hamilton maintains confident in the team.
“I still have 100% belief in this team, it is my family and I’ve been here a long time, so I don’t plan on going anywhere else.”