Lewis Hamilton is not convinced that the radical new upgrades on his Mercedes Formula 1 car will see him compete for victory at the Monaco Grand Prix.
The seven-time world champion was due to receive the changed W14 at the Emilia Romagna GP in Imola but the race was cancelled due to flooding in the local area.
The peculiar nature of the Monaco circuit will make it tough for Hamilton and Mercedes to properly see the fruits of their changed direction.
“We’re grateful to be here but with the upgrades, it will be difficult to see how it works,” Hamilton told select members of the media, including Total-Motorsport.com, ahead of the 2023 Monaco Grand Prix.
“I’m hopeful that they put us a little bit closer to these guys [Ferrari and Red Bull]. I don’t think we’ll be fighting for a win necessarily but hopefully, we’ll be more in the fight.”
Mercedes form irrelevant in contract talks
Hamilton’s contract is up for renewal at Mercedes and despite rumoured interest from Ferrari, which was quashed by Hamilton and Frederic Vasseur, the Brit insists that Mercedes‘ form has no bearing on those negotiations.
“It doesn’t have a bearing at all [the form of Mercedes] because we’re still a championship-winning team,” Hamilton added.
“It’s just that we have the wrong car and there have been some decisions made over the past two years that have not been ideal.
“We decided after Bahrain that this is what we were going to do and so I was a little bit gutted that the last race got cancelled because I was so excited to try the new package.”