Mercedes F1 ace Lewis Hamilton has heaped praise on his current team, despite speculation surrounding his contract and long-term future in the sport.
At 38 years old, Hamilton is one of the veteran drivers still on the grid. His existing deal with Mercedes is also set to finish at the end of the upcoming 2023 season – setting off alarm bells that the seven-time World Champ could walk away from the sport.
However, Lewis Hamilton has hinted that he could look to extend his contract with the Silver Arrows.
Speaking to media following the launch of Mercedes’ 2023 car, the Brit said the team had “nothing to prove” before he agreed to a new deal.
“I don’t feel like I need them to prove to me,” said Hamilton, via GP Fans. “I feel like we have proved time and time again over the years that we have strength in depth. We have all these incredibly talented individuals on the team: we don’t lose that ability.
“We’ll continue to try and improve processes, continue to try and be smarter in how we approach things and with our communication.
“I think this is the best harmony within the team that I’ve seen in years. It’s an exciting time for the team – and I don’t plan on being anywhere else.”
Toto Wolff’s comments may also provide further relief for Mercedes fans. The Team Principal confirmed to Sky Sports that talks over a new contract with Lewis Hamilton are underway.
The new season is showing promise for the Silver Arrows, with their star driver also feeling re-invigorated.
Lewis Hamilton is excited for 2023 in contract year
Speaking during Mercedes’ launch of the W14, Hamilton revealed what keeps his hunger for racing going.
“I think it’s the combined energy of all the individuals in the team. I love being part of a team that’s working towards a common goal, and I continue to love racing. That’s never going to change – I think it’s part of my DNA.
“And I always believe that I can get better, always love that challenge of the mental and physical elements of it. Just seeing how you can extract more performance from yourself and the people around you, from the car that’s constantly evolving. You know it’s not the same car for every year, it’s always changing.
“I love that, so I’m planning to stay a bit longer.”
His latest car, the W14, broke cover at a launch party on Wednesday. There is definitely something different about it, too…
Back in black: Mercedes unveil W14
The W14 sees the three-pointed star return to a black livery. They previously used a dark colourway during the 2020 and 2021 seasons before returning to silver in 2022.
But the disappointing campaign last year means that Mercedes have brought black back to the paint scheme.
Contrasting the carbon bodywork is flashes of turquoise across various sections – a reference to their Petronas sponsorship. Meanwhile, INEOS remains as a sponsor on the airbox, although their section of red colouring has been removed.
The engineers in Brackley have decided to stick with their audacious “zero-pod” aerodynamic package for 2023. However, their vertically-stacked radiator inlets are more pronounced compared to last year – looking wider at the front.
They also continue further back than the 2022 car, presumably to channel more airflow along the top of the sidepods.
In addition, the W14 has more of a distinction between the engine cover and sidepod than its predecessor. This comes thanks to a “shelf”-style cooling outlet section which will guide air directly to the car’s rear.
Overall, Mercedes will hope this awesome-looking machine can allow both Hamilton and George Russell to challenge for the title in 2023.
Featured image credit: Getty