Lewis Hamilton cautions Mercedes amid winless streak

Mercedes have hinted at making an overhaul their car's design for the 2024 Formula 1 season.

Lewis Hamilton and George Russell have downplayed Mercedes’ chances of catching Red Bull during the upcoming winter break, with Hamilton in particular noting that the team must “focus on our job” and not others around them.

Whilst both drivers would love to be battling with Red Bull come the 2024 season-opener, it just doesn’t seem feasible at the moment.

For that to happen, the Silver Arrows would require a beyond perfect winter break, something they’ve had the opposite of the last two seasons.

Mercedes have entered 2022 and 2023 with a car significantly slower than Red Bull’s, to the point that they introduced a new concept at the Monaco Grand Prix.

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Whilst they’ve shown good progress since Monaco, it’s not been enough, given that McLaren have arguably overtaken them in the pecking order.

The Brackley-based team are aware that they need a huge improvement to defeat Red Bull and have hinted that they’d even consider introducing yet another new concept for next year.

There’s simply too much wrong with the W14 to be challenging for titles and victories; however, the outfit are aware of where they “can improve”.

Despite this, Russell isn’t in a place to “promise” that the winter break will be as good and as successful as they hope, with him also calling for the Germans to “focus on ourselves”.

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“When we look at our car, we see a number of flaws in it,” Russell told media including RacingNews365.com.

“It’s not like we’re looking at it scratching our head thinking: ‘Where can we improve it?’

“We think there’s loads of places that we can improve it. We’ve made some really good findings recently with regards to the aero of the car and some of the bits and pieces on the car, which is looking very promising.

“But we can never promise what we’re going to deliver over the winter in terms of a result, because it’s a relative game.

“We can only focus on ourselves. But I’m extremely confident in my team, and very confident in the decision-makers and the direction we’re heading, that we’ve made some really great learnings, and we won’t trip up and make a mistake as we have done these past few seasons.”

Both drivers have “100% faith” in the team and aren’t ruling out the chances of catching Red Bull, although even Hamilton has called for the focus to not entirely be on catching the Austrians.

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“I have 100% faith in the guys, the team back in the factory working away on it, and who knows?,” Hamilton said.

“I mean, we don’t know where they are or where they’re progressing to. I think we just have to focus on our job and not necessarily be so focused on closing that gap.

“It’s going to be what it is. By the time we get to the first race, hopefully, it is closed.”