Lewis Hamilton not ruling out Mercedes beating Red Bull and Ferrari in Bahrain GP

2023 will be Lewis Hamilton's 11th consecutive season with Mercedes.

Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff has revealed that seven-time World Champion Lewis Hamilton is “super determined” ahead of the 2023 season, despite a difficult few days of testing.

Without taking testing into consideration, Hamilton still enters the forthcoming season on the back of his worst campaign at the pinnacle of motorsport, where he failed to claim either a win or a pole position.

It means he’s still searching for an unprecedented eighth World Championship, with 2023 already looking unlikely to be the season that he claims it.

Mercedes endured a few issues during pre-season testing in Bahrain, ahead of this weekend’s season-opening Bahrain Grand Prix.

READ: Aston Martin react to claim they’ve leapfrogged Mercedes

The Germans suffered from a range of issues, from grip all the way to the balance of the W14.

However, one issue they didn’t face was porpoising, with Wolff having confirmed after the first day of testing that the bouncing phenomena isn’t an issue that’ll scar the team once again.

Despite their issues, Mercedes are entering 2023 is a better position than they entered 2022, with a major upgrade package reportedly set to be introduced at the Azerbaijan Grand Prix.

Wolff expects Hamilton to have a great campaign, with the Austrian recognising that the 38-year-old just keeps coming back “every year” better than ever.

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“I’ve been amazed, because he’s been in the team now for 10 years,” Wolff said.

“And every year he just comes back more mature, more professional, more understanding of what’s good for him. He’s in high spirits, and certainly super determined.”

Hamilton and Mercedes enter the new season aware that they aren’t yet “able to match” the leading duo from 2022, with Red Bull and Ferrari having also completed some excellent work over the off-season.

Aston Martin are another side who are likely to cause Mercedes trouble this season, with the Silverstone-based side having been dubbed by many as a potential candidate for the victory this weekend in Bahrain.

Mercedes, of course, would love to enter the weekend with the belief that they can win; however, the W14 simply isn’t in the position to do so currently.

In a bid to “stay positive”, though, Hamilton does recognise that the team have a “good platform to start” 2023 from, something they certainly didn’t have 12 months ago.

READ: Toto Wolff admits Mercedes ‘advantage’ over Red Bull

“We’re not quite where we want to be but it’s a good platform to start from,” Hamilton said after testing.

“It’s a much more beautiful world to be in when we’re not bouncing but we do have some pace to pick up in a straight line.

“We have some things we need to work on, it’s still not perfect and we’re still not able to match the Red Bulls, or the Ferraris, currently. Who knows where we’ll be next week, we’ll just try to stay positive.”