Lewis Hamilton discussed a number of topics on Thursday at the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix.
The Briton’s latest F1 campaign got off to an underwhelming start, unfortunately for him and the Mercedes team, in Bahrain.
Hopes ahead of the 2023 season were that the Silver Arrows would have closed the gap to the likes of Red Bull and Ferrari but, over the course of the opening weekend, it was laid bare that there is still a deficit to last year’s top pair, as well as Aston Martin potentially now.
Of course, at different tracks we may well see the Mercedes get closer but it is clear they do not currently possess the top car on the grid, and that has prompted some to suggest that Hamilton might even be considering moving on from the team in the future, with his current contract at Merc expiring at the end of this year.
In fairness to Hamilton and Mercedes, both have said that it is more a matter of ‘when’ and not ‘if’ a new deal is sorted as both parties are naturally eager to try and win his eighth world title together to break the record for most championships won by a driver in the history of the sport, and the Briton has played down recent talk that he might be looking to change his current employers:
“We are in talks, just in the process of going through the motions of what that looks like, what the future looks like, what we want to do,” said Hamilton to the press in Saudi Arabia.
“I’m fully integrated within Mercedes-Benz. I’ve been with them for such a long time, since I was 13, so I’m very proud of the brand and the business, what they do, what they stand for and the impact they have throughout the world, but you can always do more, so discussions are around what else we can do together to lift people up.”
Hamilton also spoke about being quoted as saying that he had not been ‘listened to’ when it came to the development of the Mercedes W14 for this year, and admitted he wished he’d perhaps phrased things a little differently:
“In hindsight, I think looking back it wasn’t necessarily the best choice of words.
“Of course there are times where you’re not in agreement with certain team members, but what’s important is that we continue to communicate, continue to pull together.
“I still have 100% 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.
“But we all need a kick, we all need to get on – the proof is in the pudding, we’ve seen where the performance is and how people are extracting the performance, and we’ve got to now start making some bold decisions in order to close the gap to these guys.”
As mentioned, F1 is in Jeddah this weekend for round two of the 2023 world championship, with the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix taking place this Sunday.