Lewis Hamilton, as well as team-mate George Russell, is “very much on board” with Mercedes’ plan to return to the front of the Formula 1 field, according to the squad’s Trackside Engineering Director Andrew Shovlin.
Mercedes has started the 2023 season off the front-running pace, as was the case in 2022.
Its strong end-of-season form last year led some to believe that it would be closer to the front for the commencement of the current campaign.
However, it was unable to compete with Red Bull during the grand prix weekend in Bahrain, qualifying six-tenths off pole position and ending the race 50 seconds down on winner Max Verstappen.
Hamilton’s future with Mercedes has been called into question on a number of occasions, with his current contract expiring at the end of the 2023 season.
A handful of ex-F1 drivers recently stated that he could walk away from the sport at the end of the year, with Hamilton refuting those claims.
Speaking in Mercedes’ F1 Debrief video, Shovlin says its drivers are fully backing Mercedes’ push to return to a competitive level.
“It’s a very difficult start to the year and after the season we had in 2022 we certainly didn’t wish for this sort of challenging start,” he said.
“But everyone’s been very quick to acknowledge that problem.
“We know that we have a tough journey ahead of us but we are committed to improving the car, to try and get it back to the front.
“The drivers are very much on board with that, and they have been working very well together to try and help us develop and improve the car.
“It’s nice just to see how everyone is very honest about the challenge that is ahead of us, very humble about where we are and what we need to do to move forward and committed to finding solutions because we are not happy with our current performance.”
Mercedes also posted a message on social media on Friday morning, which pointed to Hamilton’s continued commitment to the team.
“I don’t plan on being anywhere else.” 💪 pic.twitter.com/jzNMcAZN6e
— Mercedes-AMG PETRONAS F1 Team (@MercedesAMGF1) March 9, 2023
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