Lewis Hamilton said he had 100 percent belief that Mercedes could rescue their season after a disappointing start to 2023, and refused to entertain the possibility of jumping ship if his team can’t improve.
Mercedes were distinctly the fourth-best team at the Bahrain Grand Prix and Hamilton and George Russell struggled to fifth and seventh-placed finishes, as the team announced they’re abandoning their current design philosophy.
However, after rumours circulated linking Hamilton with a move away from the team, potentially to Ferrari or retirement, he had a strong response.
“I still have 100 percent 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,” Hamilton told the press.
“We all need a kick, we all need to get on but what’s important is that we continue to communicate, we continue to pull together.”
Bahrain revelation ‘shocked’ Mercedes
Hamilton admitted the team were genuinely surprised by their lack of performance on the grand prix weekend.
Mercedes were optimistic after pre-season testing that they would be able to challenge for wins before the end of the first quarter of the season, but they were clearly the slowest car out of the expected frontrunners.
Out of the Ferraris, Red Bulls and Aston Martins they only finished ahead of Charles Leclerc, who retired on lap 39 with an engine problem, and Lance Stroll who’d rushed back from injury.
“[Mercedes thought] we probably won’t hit the ground straightaway at the front, but we should be there or thereabouts. So yeah, it’s a bit of a shock when that wasn’t obviously the case,” Hamilton said.
“I knew that we weren’t in the right place. When you saw the car for the first time it looks still so much different to to those that are our competitors.
“Obviously it’s a shock when you find out this car’s not where you want it to be. But everyone’s working on the solution and I have 100% confidence in everyone just doing their jobs.
“You don’t all of a sudden lose the ability to build great cars, we’re not where we need to be and where we want to be and we’ve just got to keep on working.”