Lewis Hamilton insists he’s been in a positive mood after visiting Mercedes‘ factories and seeing the latest iteration of the W15, a car he hopes will propel the team back to race victories and a championship fight.
Mercedes went winless in 2023 for the first time in 12 years and were never in contention for either title as Hamilton surrendered the fight with Sergio Perez for second in the drivers’ championship with one race still to go.
However, Mercedes same into the season with an untenable concept and were forced to compromise with that for the rest of the season, while team principal Toto Wolff has said he’s looking forward to an overhaul in 2024.
“The mood is very positive,” Hamilton told the media. “I think all the members in the team are incredibly grateful to have got second constructors, given the challenges that we face this season.
“I’m not an engineer or designer but it’s always an exciting time of the year seeing the car in the wind tunnel, I always go by the wind tunnel when I go to the factory and to see it evolving in whichever direction it ends up going.
“Literally, when I was leaving yesterday I popped in just to see where we were and when I come back, it will be again a different animal. So I have full faith in that and everyone that’s working on it hopefully we’ll be in a much more competitive position next year.”
Hamilton: An emotional time of year
Hamilton has spent his time since the season-ending Abu Dhabi Grand Prix touring the Mercedes factory and thanking staff for their work over the season, with just a fraction of the team travelling to race weekends.
He joined the team for 2013 after six seasons at McLaren and many more in the Woking junior programme, winning his first championship in 2008 with a Mercedes engine manufactured at the high-performance plant in Brixworth.
“It’s always quite emotional, I’ve been with the team for such a long time,” Hamilton added. “But every time you go back to the Brixworth, into Brackley you’re reminded of just how big a team is pushing you forward from behind.
“And you see every individual, some people that are new to the team, that have joined whilst I’ve been here, and some that have been here, but way before and also some that I’ve worked on my engine since my first Grand Prix in Formula 1.
“It’s amazing to just see the progress and the growth and also our team is becoming more and more diverse, which has been really like pleasing for me.”