Seven-time World Champion Lewis Hamilton has labelled Mercedes’ woeful 2022 season as a “good lesson”, with the Germans now more determined than ever before to return to winning ways.
Last season was Mercedes’ worst since the start of the turbo-hybrid era by some margin, with the team having failed to make the most of the new aerodynamic regulations.
The team’s unique approach to the new regs was ultimately their downfall last season, with the Germans having been the biggest victims of the porpoising phenomena.
Whilst this was going on, Hamilton and George Russell could do nothing but watch Red Bull and Ferrari escape, leaving the Silver Arrows in a lonely third.
To their credit, the Brackley-based team did bounce back after solving their bouncing issues; however, it was too little too late to have an effect on the championship.
Having their eight-year streak of winning the Constructors’ Championship end, though, has seemingly made the team “hungry” to return to the front, with Hamilton being certain that the team have “grown” as a result of their difficult campaign.
“I think we’ve grown as a team, I think we’ve improved our processes, I think we’ve improved our communication, and I think it’s made us hungry,” Hamilton told Mercedes partner Petronas.
“For me, it’s been different to previous years, when we were fighting for wins. We were fighting for our first fifth place; we really felt like we achieved something in those times. I think it’s been a good lesson, a good building block for us all.”
Mercedes did go on to claim one victory last season, with George Russell having claimed his first win at the pinnacle of motorsport, with Hamilton having completed a Mercedes 1-2 at the Brazilian Grand Prix.
Whilst it wasn’t Hamilton who claimed the win, the 38-year-old recognised the “huge boost” the result gave the team, with the win having given the Silver Arrows the belief that “we can get back to winning ways”.
“To get a one-two at the end [of the season] in Brazil, was I think a huge boost for everybody. I probably couldn’t put into words how much it meant to everybody at the factory, and to me to be a part of that,” Hamilton continued.
“We’ve seen that we can do it, we’ve seen that we can get back to our winning ways, we’ve had a taste of it, and now I think that’s just made everyone even more hungry.”