Lewis Hamilton has responded to claims that he could look to jump ship at Mercedes for a rival outfit amid its slump in form.
Hamilton endured the first winless season of his Formula 1 career in 2022 as Mercedes competed off the front-running pace for much of the season.
Its prospects for 2023 don’t appear to be much brighter as it struggled for performance at the season-opening Bahrain Grand Prix earlier this month.
Hamilton claimed that people at Mercedes didn’t listen to him when the W14 car was in its development stage, leaving some pundits to claim that he could look to depart the team.
But Hamilton says that is not an option in the pipeline.
“In hindsight, looking back, it maybe wasn’t the best choice of words,” Hamilton said.
“But of course there are times you’re not in agreement with certain team members but what’s important is we continue to communicate, we continue to pull together.
“I still have 100 per cent belief in this team. It is my family and I’ve been here a long time so I don’t plan on going anywhere else.”
Red Bull dominated the opening round of the year, with Max Verstappen leading a 1-2 finish for the team ahead of Sergio Perez.
The Milton Keynes-based outfit cruised to double championship glory in 2022 and Hamilton has backed the squad to repeat the success this year once again.
“We all need a kick, we all need to get on,” he said. “The proof is 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 bold decisions, some big moves in order to close the gap to these guys.
“Otherwise they’re going to… I mean, they will run away with it probably this year unless Ferrari stop them. We’ll wait and see.
“Hopefully at some point during the year we’re hopeful we might be able to close the gap but at that point it will probably be too late in terms of fighting for a championship but we can still turn some heads hopefully.”