Lewis Hamilton has revealed why he was “frustrated” at the start of the 2023 season, after discovering that his input following the end of last year’s campaign hadn’t been listened to.
Hamilton arrived at the pre-season test in Bahrain hopeful that the W14 would be stronger than the ‘diva’ that was the W13, unfortunately, this wasn’t the case.
The seven-time World Champion recalls how his first thoughts of driving the W14 were that it felt “exactly the same” as the team’s 2022 car, which he failed to claim a single victory or pole position in.
This frustrated Hamilton, as he became aware that changes to the car that he asked for following 2022 “weren’t done”.
Mercedes ended up scrapping their ‘zero sidepod’ philosophy at the Monaco Grand Prix this year, although they’re now set to introduce another new design for 2024.
2023 hasn’t been the season Hamilton was hoping for simply because the car wasn’t good enough to win, with his highlight arguably being his Hungarian Grand Prix pole position.
Given that Hamilton’s feedback wasn’t listened to ahead of 2023, it would’ve been very easy for the 103-time race winner to become annoyed; however, he instead opted to work hard with the Brackley-based squad to solve their problems.
Reflecting on 2023, the 38-year-old believes he’s remained a “lot more positive” and has helped push the Silver Arrows forwards.
He doesn’t hide the fact, though, that he was initially unhappy.
“I remember it feeling exactly the same,” Hamilton told BBC Sport when comparing the W14 to the W13.
“And that definitely was not a great feeling. I really had high hopes.
“I’m sure there were frustrations, because I had asked for certain changes, and they weren’t done. No one knew exactly what the problem was, no one knew how to fix it.
“Having the experience of the previous year, I just applied myself, in terms of digging down, sitting with the guys. We were having much better meetings.
“I was able to stay a lot more positive during the year and be like: ‘It’s going to be a long season, but let’s not give up. Let’s keep pushing towards getting the maximum out of the car, whatever that may be.’
“I think for this year they thought: ‘The fundamentals are good and we just have to go here.’ And it was not the case. That’s why I was frustrated in February because they hadn’t made the changes I’d asked for.”