With less than a month until the 2023 F1 season begins, Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton has issued a warning to his rivals ahead of the highly anticipated new Formula 1 campaign.
The seven-time world champion endured the first winless campaign of his career in 2022 as Mercedes‘ run of dominance came to a crashing halt, but he vowed he is as hungry as ever in a social media post alongside two throwback images to his go-karting days.
Hamilton‘s most recent title fight came in 2021 against Red Bull’s Max Verstappen, in which the Dutchman controversially won the drivers’ championship on the last lap of the final race in Abu Dhabi.
“Hungry then – hungrier now,” Hamilton wrote to his 7.9 million followers.
The 38-year-old will be the second-oldest driver on the F1 grid when racing resumes in 2023, behind Fernando Alonso, but hinted he could compete well into his 40s, a notion he previously scoffed at.
“I’m not putting a limit on it, to be honest,” Hamilton said in November 2022, when asked how much longer he planned to stay with Mercedes. “I’m planning to do a multi-year deal with my team.
“I really, really don’t know what the next five years [hold], I think we’re still trying to work on that. But I feel great in mind and body. I think there’s more stuff to achieve together.”
In order to do that, he’ll need Mercedes to learn from the mistakes of 2022 and provide the sport’s most decorated champion with the machinery to challenge for a record-breaking eighth world title.
The Mercedes W13 was hampered by a lack of straight-line speed and suffered from extreme porpoising, especially in the early part of the season.
However, should 2022 prove to be nothing more than a blip, there’s no doubt Hamilton still has what it takes to further enhance his legacy on the track.
It certainly won’t be a lack of confidence that holds him back, anyway.
Following his narrow defeat at the hands of Max Verstappen at the 2022 US Grand Prix, Hamilton said: “I know that when they build the car, I will take it to the top.”