Sir Lewis Hamilton has no concerns about the performance of Mercedes’ 2022 car, insisting that he has full belief that the team have given him a competitive package this year.
The technical regulations in Formula 1 have dramatically been changed ahead of the new season after the introduction of a ground effect-led aerodynamic concept as well as bigger tyres.
Ambiguity therefore looms over who will thrive under the unprecedented alterations to the cars, as well as whether the pecking order will stay the same.
F1’s managing director Ross Brawn has recently theorised that the order should not change too much, but as testing got underway yesterday, Hamilton was asked during a press conference in Barcelona if he had any doubts as to whether Mercedes might have designed a race car incapable of winning the title this year.
“Why would I ever think that?” was his response.
“We’ve won eight [Constructors’ Championships] in a row. Of course there is always a risk, but we don’t make mistakes, we have very intelligent people in our factory I trust in them 100 per cent, and whatever we start with today we will work through it.”
Speaking on his cruel and controversial last-lap championship defeat to Max Verstappen last year, the Briton said he is ready to attack the 2022 season.
“There is no point looking back or commenting on any of it. It’s done, dusted, so I move forwards,” he explained.
“I feel I’m at my best, so why do I need to leave? There are so many ways you can refocus and get re-centred and I would say this was one of the best so I feel the freshest I ever have.”
The seven-time world champion went on to suggest that the stewards often show a particular predisposition to favour certain drivers, and emphasises that this cannot continue following the major changes that include Masi being removed as race director.
“We need to make sure we get unbiased stewards too,” he insisted.
“Race drivers are sometimes very, very good friends with certain individuals. Some travel with certain individuals and tend to take a more keen liking to some of them. So just people who have no bias is super-essential when it comes to making decisions.”
Hamilton will partner George Russell in 2022 after the 24-year-old was signed from Williams to replace Alfa Romeo-bound Valtteri Bottas.