Lewis Hamilton isn’t writing 2023 off as ‘plan B wasn’t in the pipeline’

Mercedes look some way away from challenging for the championship once again this season.

Last year, Mercedes’ third place finish in the championship with only a single win to their name seemed like an absolute disaster, but it could get even worse this season.

Having chosen to stick with their zero sidepod approach this season, Mercedes now look to be the fourth fastest team on the grid, slipping behind the phenomenally impressive Aston Martin.

Team principal Toto Wolff has already admitted that this decision was a mistake and has ordered his team to look into a different development pathway, which the team can then focus all of their resources into.

Max Verstappen and Sergio Perez finished the Bahrain Grand Prix 50 seconds ahead of Lewis Hamilton, even after Red Bull asked their drivers to slow down significantly towards the end of the race, showing the difference between the two giants of F1.

READ: Mercedes warned against copying Aston Martin after Lewis Hamilton criticism

While there have been rumours that Lewis Hamilton and Mercedes could give up on 2023 to begin focusing on next season already, Sky Sports pundit Ted Kravitz has warned the team against doing this.

“Are we seeing a team in existential re-evaluating in their own belief in their abilities?” Kravitz questioned.

“An abandonment of everything they have worked so hard on for the past seven or eight months.

“They are searching for a new concept that the boss is demanding. Toto is demanding a new concept from his designers and engineers. What will the response be?

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“I don’t think Lewis is writing it off mentally now. I don’t think he can. How could he? He is encouraging the team to get on with it. Toto will task and inspire his team to build a new car.

“A plan B wasn’t in the pipeline. But Wolff has now tasked him team with a plan B.

READ: Max Verstappen roasts Red Bull

“Toto said rather dismissively: ‘I won’t get too excited about a three tenths of a second upgrade coming in Imola. He’s the boss, he’s going to get a plan B.”

Wolff has claimed that Mercedes now need to decide which concept to funnel all of their resources into, with many urging the team to copy Red Bull and Aston Martin’s approach.

With upgrades set to be online by the time F1 travels to Imola, Mercedes will be hoping to be able to battle for second place in the championship once again this year.