‘Invigorated’ Hamilton feels he is constantly evolving as a driver

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‘Invigorated’ Hamilton feels he is constantly evolving as a driver

Formula 1

‘Invigorated’ Hamilton feels he is constantly evolving as a driver


As he prepares for contract talks, Lewis Hamilton says he doesn’t plan on racing for another team in Formula 1 other than Mercedes, having come back from the winter break “really invigorated.”

Hamilton’s current contract expires at the end of the year and the 38-year-old has had a preliminary chat with team principal Toto Wolff about an extension. Both sides have stated they expect a new deal to be easily reached and Hamilton says last year’s struggles don’t have an impact on his desire to stay, hinting that he doesn’t need to wait and see how competitive Mercedes is this year.

“For the team, no, I don’t feel like I need them to prove to me,” Hamilton said. “I think we’ve proved time and time again over the years that we have strength in depth. We still have all these incredibly talented individuals within the team — you don’t lose that ability. We’re continuing to try and improve our processes, we’re continuing to try and be smarter in how we approach things and with our communication.

“I think there’s the best harmony within the team that I’ve seen in all these years, and we’ve got a real fresh young group of engineers and people that have just come into the team over the past year as well. So it’s an exciting time for the team and I don’t plan on being anywhere else.”

Mercedes launched its 2023 car — the W14 — on Wednesday but only completed a 15km demonstration day. Hamilton didn’t drive but his turn is set for Thursday during a 100km shakedown at Silverstone, and he says he’s found himself to be extremely motivated to get back behind the wheel this winter.

“I wouldn’t say that has been the case every single season, but as I’ve had this great break, I can’t remember the last time I felt this excited about getting in the car to even test. I’ve already done two test days, which I never do, and tire tests at that, so I’m excited.

“I feel really, really invigorated, ready to work with the team. It has been great to see how focused everybody is. I’ve actually seen the car in the wind tunnel in December, and then this week is the most exciting week when you see all the pieces come together. It looks streamlined, you can see it’s an evolution.

“When you have a meeting and 40 or 50 engineers take you through what they’ve done, why they’ve done it and what we’re hoping to get from that, it’s just like Christmas and you’re waiting to get your present. Physically I feel great — I’m very much focused on trying to raise the bar in that area, but it’s going to be a challenge. But that’s what I live for.”

Hamilton says he’s also been energized by the way he needs to try and find ways of improving in his late 30s, evolving the way he works with Mercedes all the time.

“We have to look at ourselves as a team, how we function,” he explained. “Ultimately, I’m hired by the team, I have to look at how I communicate, how I operate, how I use my time and how I deliver results, so I have to continue to be critical of myself to understand where the bar is.

“I’ve done more simulator running than I’ve ever done for the past 18 months, more time with engineers, more going over data and just continuously looking at how you can evolve as a driver.

“And then it’s the physical and mental side of things, continuing to evolve working with different people. I don’t want to highlight specific areas but on the physical and mental side of things, (there is) so much great research out there on how you can advance your body, how you can be more focused and practices you can take into your daily life — things I’ve been working on trying to adopt.”