“[Red Bull] really raised the bar and we have a lot of work to close that gap. But I truly do believe that we can close that gap,” says Lewis Hamilton as Mercedes look to hit back from two difficult seasons in 2024
Last Updated: 18/12/23 12:10pm
Lewis Hamilton has reiterated his “full faith” in Mercedes’ ability to build a more competitive car for 2024 when they will bid to challenge Red Bull’s Formula 1 dominance next season.
Mercedes and a number of their key F1 rivals have entered big off-seasons as they look to respond to the most dominant season in the sport’s history, produced by Max Verstappen and Red Bull
Hamilton visited Mercedes’ factories after the season-ending Abu Dhabi GP and, speaking in Baku at the FIA’s end-of-season prize-giving gala a day, the seven-time champion said: “It’s always the exciting time of the year because I have seen the car in the wind tunnel.
“I always go by the wind tunnel when I go to the factory and to see it evolving in whichever direction it ends up going.
“As soon as I was leaving, again I popped in just to see where we were and when I come back it’ll be again a different animal.
“But I have full faith in everyone that’s working on it and hopeful that we’ll be in a much more competitive position next year.”
Hamilton, who also strongly spoke out against the FIA’s short-lived investigation into Susie Wolff, was at the Baku ceremony after finishing third in this year’s championship behind the Red Bull drivers.
After accepting the third place-trophy on stage, he told the audience from around global motorsport: “I have to say a big congratulations to Red Bull and to Max and Checo. They’ve done an incredible job this year. Max was faultless.
“The team really raised the bar and we have a lot of work to close that gap. But I truly do believe that we can close that gap.
“And a big, big thank you to my team because they never gave up this year. We started off with the sister basically of the previous year’s car which was not good and not fun to drive for most of the year, but no one gave up.
“Everyone continued to show up every day and that was what was most inspiring for me.
“I hope we come back next year and give it everything.”
F1 pre-season testing starts in Bahrain on February 21, with teams to launch their new cars in the days and weeks leading up to the first official running of 2024.
24 races in 2024! Watch every round of next season live on Sky Sports F1, starting with the Bahrain Grand Prix from February 29-March 2. Stream every F1 race and more with a NOW Sports Month Membership – just £21 a month for six months.
Source : Sky Sports