Lewis Hamilton channels his inner Sebastian Vettel

Lewis Hamilton was behind the wheel of Mercedes' W14 during the afternoon session on the opening day of testing.

Lewis Hamilton channelled his inner Sebastian Vettel ahead of pre-season testing getting underway, with the seven-time World Champion and former team-mate Valtteri Bottas having been spotted taking a look inside the cockpit of Red Bull’s RB19.

Similar to what Vettel did in the past, Hamilton and Bottas were seen peering over the side of Max Verstappen’s 2023 car, whilst all the cars for the forthcoming season were on the grid for a photo shoot.

To see drivers taking a look at Red Bull’s car is no surprise, given that the Austrians kept their 2023 car very much hidden until it was unveiled in Bahrain.

Red Bull used a model of their 2022 car to unveil their 2023 livery in New York, with images of the RB19’s shakedown test having also been blurred.

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The car is certainly quick, with Verstappen having topped the opening session of pre-season testing, although, the leaderboard is fairly irrelevant during testing.

Regardless, Hamilton was careful not to touch Verstappen’s car, something which would’ve resulted in a €50,000 fine.

Verstappen, of course, picked up a €50,000 fine in 2021 for touching Hamilton’s rear wing in parc ferme, after qualifying for the Brazilian Grand Prix.

Fans will be hoping to see Verstappen and Hamilton amongst the title fight come the start of the season, with many wanting to see a repeat of 2021.

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Hamilton, of course, was rarely in the same shot as Verstappen last season, with Mercedes having slumped to third in the Constructors’ Championship.

Mercedes are hoping that they will find themselves back amongst the front come the Bahrain Grand Prix next weekend, with a repeat of last season certainly not being what the outfit are hoping for.

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Should Mercedes endure a season similar to 2022, it will likely raise questions over the 38-year-old’s future, given that he may consider what the sport can offer him if he isn’t challenging for victories and titles.

The British driver is expected to sign a multi-year extension as it stands, with his current deal set to expire at the end of this year.

His reported deal will see him in the sport until the end of 2025, by at which point he would be 40 years old.