Hamilton has “great hope” for 2023 after strong end to season

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In the round-up: Lewis Hamilton believes Mercedes can build on the improvements they made throughout last season when they embark on their 2023 campaign.

In brief

Hamilton has “great hope” for 2023 after strong end to season

Lewis Hamilton believes Mercedes can build on the improvements they made throughout last season when they embark on their 2023 campaign.

He endured his first ever winless season last year in Mercedes’ uncompetitive W13 chassis. However following a poor start to the year the team became regular contenders for podium finishes and took a single win, courtesy of Hamilton’s team mate George Russell, in Brazil.

Hamilton said that gives him hope 2023 will be better for the team. “I know how hard it is to be at the top and to stay there,” he told Bild. “We want to get back to the top.

“What gives us great hope is the end of this season. The last few races have shown a clear positive trend and prove that with perseverance we can achieve anything.”

The seven-times world title winner added he is keen to bow out of the sport as champion. “I think retiring as a world champion is a dream that every athlete has – and so do I.”

Schwartzman fastest in IndyCar Sebring test

Ferrari junior driver Robert Shwartzman was fastest of four drivers in a private IndyCar test around the Sebring short course on Wednesday.

Driving with Chip Ganassi, Shwartzman was quicker than Dayle Coyne’s Sting Ray Robb, Chip Ganassi’s Kyffin Simpson and Penske’s Dane Cameron.

“Overall, it was very positive, very productive,” Shwartzman told Racer. “I was very curious to get to know the car. I’m very happy that my expectations were beaten. As for the physical and driving style, it’s a quite nice car to drive.”

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Comment of the day

With Andretti announcing they are partnering with Cadillac for an attempted entry into Formula 1, @bascb is looking forward to seeing how the pairing will fare in Formula 1…

Sure, we will see how (and even IF) they make it to the grid. And we will have to see how they will be doing once they get there. But we did not expect much from Haas and they haven’t done all that bad, I would say. Andretti is as big a name in USA Motorsports, and the name means more in F1 than Haas, AND he’s bringing a big manufacturer with him.

I am looking forward to seeing them join in. Probably makes most sense to get there by 2026 with the new engines, just like Audi will with their own engine. It does make me wonder even more whether Honda will really get back into the sport though (who is going to run their engines if RBR goes their own way? Buy Alpha Tauri?)

Happy birthday!

Happy birthday to Sparckus, Martin Rasmussen and Dion!

On this day in motorsport

  • 55 years ago today Chris Amon won the non-championship New Zealand Grand Prix at Pukukohe for Ferrari after Jim Clark’s Lotus hit engine trouble

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Will Wood
Will has been a RaceFans contributor since 2012 during which time he has covered F1 test sessions, launch events and interviewed drivers. He mainly...

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19 comments on “Hamilton has “great hope” for 2023 after strong end to season”

  1. The last few races have shown a clear positive trend and prove that with perseverance we can achieve anything.

    Time to bring out the numbers again?

    Race 01 – 2022 Bahrain GP – Q – pole LEC 1:30.558 – best Merc HAM 1:31.238 +0.680 / +0.75%
    Race 23 – 2022 Abu Dhabi GP – Q – pole VER 1:23.824 – best Merc HAM 1:24.508 +0.684 / +0.82%

    1. Sorry, Abu Dhabi was Race 22 of the 2022 F1 season.

    2. Jeffrey Powell
      6th January 2023, 6:57

      I make you correct I looked at the qualifying times a few weeks ago because my impression was the overall differentials had shown very little difference between Mercedes and Pole over the year. I think Lewis is suffering from wishful thinking, was this in an interview situation or just a post, because this would have been a very legitimate point to raise. Maybe he is just feeling as the car was evidently much easier to drive in the second half of the season that justifies his remarks but certainly just looking at end of year differentials without a quantum leap from Merc. the start of 2023 looks very difficult for them.

    3. I do see your point with laying out data like this but there is a difference between statistics and actuarial science.

    4. you should compare best lap times in the races to see the progress.

      1. Why? Fastest laps are famously noisy data while qualifying runs put everyone on the same track, with the same tyres, and within a very small window of time for optimal comparability.

    5. While these statistics show a different picture, you can’t ignore mercedes improved later on in the season, and had the best car in brazil, which hadn’t happened all year, maybe it’s also because of ferrari getting worse that it feels they did better in the 2nd half.

    6. Qualifying isn’t everything though. By your reckoning, Mercedes had the best car in 2013 but we know that’s not the case. They were undoubtedly more competitive towards the end of 2022 than they were at the start. Will they be ready to consistently fight for wins from round 1 this year? Maybe, maybe not, but with the stability of regulations, I’d sure expect them to be closer than the start of last year.

    7. @proesterchen

      I think you need more than two data points to prove your argument. Maybe map the qualifying differences of all the races and look at the trend. It was kind of obvious that Mercedes did close the gap.. heck, they managed to out qualify Red Bull as well.

      1. Feel free to supply any additional statistics that you feel support your argument.

  2. This is the huge story in @F1 today and the official Formula 1 website isn’t touching it. That tells you a lot.

    It tells you that it isn’t really much of a story.
    There have been (at least) dozens of ‘teams’ (some real, some not) who have equally publicly expressed similar interest in entering F1 over the decades. The vast majority didn’t….

    The official F1 site is famously slow and usually very selective in regard to what they report, anyway. They tend not to report on things they don’t like or that don’t make them look good…..
    When (or more likely, if) it happens – you can bet they’ll be talking about it – because they’d have no choice.

  3. “I think retiring as a world champion is a dream that every athlete has – and so do I.”

    This will require a Prost (Williams) kind of opportunity for him. It is possible. He has not exactly been shy of luck in the past, so who knows.

    1. Prost was almost given that title in some regards. I don’t know if Frank ever spoke so openly about it. I know Nigel has. But I’d be interested to hear the full story of the shenanigans from all those still with us in the ‘Mansell – Senna – Prost- I want a Williams merry go round. If someone were to interview them and get their recollections of the events I’d certainly watch.

      But I suspect Alain might have just been shrewdest at the end of day.

  4. Is this the first hint we’ve had from Hamilton that the 2023 season might be his last in F1? He’s previously been emphatic that he doesn’t want to carry on racing into his forties, although more recently he has suggested that he might keep going for a few more years after all.

    His current contract with Mercedes expires at the end of this season. Aim for the eighth, and then retire?

    1. @red-andy

      I think he wants one more season where he’s got the car to compete for a WDC… and to be honest.. he deserves it, especially after the Abu Dhabi 2021 debacle. Will be great for the fans as well to see Lewis vs Max again, but this time with a really quick and upcoming talent as Lewis’ teammate. The season would be spectacularly entertaining!

  5. I think retiring as a world champion is a dream that every athlete has – and so do I.

    Nico lived the dream :D

    1. Good call from Nico. Not unexpected at all as we could clearly see the dynamic between the two following Lewis’ antics (and again in 2021 vs another competitor). Lewis is genuinely not a nice person to compete with. It is his right (or rather choice) as an athlete, but there are other means to winning.

      1. You only have to watch 2015 USA GP 1st lap and the cool down room to realise that in 2021, Lewis just couldn’t take the same being done to him.

  6. Just stick in there and give us a show Lewis.
    Your rabid fanatics need it and I love to see your haters crying ;)

    Win or lose you are a driver worth watching and that is all the show I need :)

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