For the second year in a row, Lewis Hamilton failed to win a race, let alone compete for the world title. Hamilton now makes it clear that he knew very early this year that the 2023 F1 season would be very difficult.
Six podium finishes and a third place in the Drivers’ Championship are a far cry from the target at the start of the year: an eighth world title. Hamilton now admits that after the first laps in the Mercedes W14 during the shakedown in Silverstone in February, he realized that it would be a very difficult season.
Hamilton had asked to abandon the special concept that Mercedes used in 2022, but the Mercedes engineers stood firm, but that ultimately turned out to be the wrong choice.
“I remember feeling exactly the same and it certainly wasn’t a great feeling. I really had great expectations,” Hamilton reflected on the season to ‘BBC Sport’. “When we looked at how the car was doing in February, I was a bit more hesitant, especially because the year before I thought the car was great, unique and that no one else had anything like it. And then we went to the first test…”
“So I was a little more cautious when I listened and I said ‘We’ll see.’ Then the car had all kinds of problems. I just knew it was going to be a very long year.”