Lewis Hamilton has clarified his Mercedes future amid speculation he could ditch the Silver Arrows for an F1 rival. Hamilton confirmed he doesn’t plan on leaving the German manufacturer despite struggling for pace in 2023.
Pundits have suggested Hamilton could be tempted to join Ferrari to ensure he can battle at the front with Red Bull. He opened up on his future after Sky Sports F1’s Simon Lazenby asked Hamilton if his head had been turned by other teams pace.
Hamilton replied: “I 100 per cent believe in this team. It’s my family and I’ve been here a long time so I don’t plan on going anywhere else. But we all need a kick, we all need to get on.
“The proofs in the pudding. We’ve seen where the performance is and how people are extracting the performance and we’ve got to now start making some build decisions, some big moves in order to close the gap to [Red Bull].
“They will run away with it most likely this year unless Ferrari can most probably stop them. We wil wait and see.”
Hamilton’s assurances comes after the seven-time champion criticised his Mercedes engineers ahead of the race in Jeddah. The Briton suggested bosses didn;t listen to him over the direction of the W14 and demanded “accountability”.
In a damning verdict, he also suggested the team should “own up” to their mistakes after a dismal Bahrain Grand Prix saw them drop further into the midfield. A week on, Hamilton has made a U-turn on the comments but admitted there had been some “disagreements” behind the scenes.
He added: “In hindsight it wasn’t the best choice of words. Of course there are times where you are in disagreement with other team members. What’s important is we continue to communicate.”
In Sakhir, Mercedes boss Toto Wolff tasked his mechanics to go back to the drawing board and work on a new concept. It is believed the squad are already working on a new blueprint back at base which could ensure the team bounce back sooner rather than later.
He explained: “Hopefully at some point during the year we are hopeful we might be able to close the gap. At that point it will probably be too late in terms of fighting for a championship but we can still turn some heads.”
When pushed if tough decisions had already been made since Bahrain, Hamilton added: “I think we are in the process of it, yes.”