Lewis Hamilton says his motivation derives from “biding my time” for when Mercedes upholds the potential to fight for Formula 1 titles in this regulation cycle.
Mercedes’ record-breaking run of eight consecutive Constructors’ Championships came to an abrupt end when the technical rules were overhauled last year, with the side winning only a solitary race en route to slumping to third place in the standings.
While the German marque currently resides in second position this year, it has been unable to stop Red Bull from taking victory in every single race to be held in 2023.
When asked whether Red Bull and Max Verstappen’s current dominance could be turning people away from the sport, Hamilton said: “I can’t say how it is for people watching Formula 1 because… you know your readers, so… There is a high chance that he’ll win every race.
“But, we’re hopeful that we can challenge them at some point, whether it’s this weekend or who knows where. And if there are any mistakes, any mishaps, we’ll be right there to try and capitalize on them. They don’t really make them, or he hasn’t made any, and the team hasn’t made any this year I think anyway.
“So yeah. They might win everything. Hopefully later on in the year, we’ll get closer maybe. Not much really more to say.”
With team-mate George Russell having claimed Mercedes’ sole win since the start of last year, Hamilton has yet to stand on the top step of an F1 podium since December.
The Briton managed to score his first pole since the 2021 Saudi Arabian Grand Prix in Hungary before the summer break, but he regressed to fourth place in the race.
However, Hamilton has dismissed that he has struggled with motivation whilst he doesn’t have a car capable of competing for victories, citing that he wants to be in “the right place” for when Mercedes does return to its former position of supremacy.
“No, I don’t think it’s particularly difficult [to retain motivation], because there are always areas you can improve.
“We’re fine-tuning how we work in the background, we’re constantly trying to improve our processes. We’re continuously making adjustments. It’s improving communication in the background, making sure the head of department are getting the real information through. And deep diving onto certain subjects, whether it’s bouncing, whether it’s car characteristics, through-corner balance, all these sorts of things.
“I’ve had more time to be able to focus on that with the team than ever before. And generally be even more hands on the direction that we’re going with the car next year. And just making sure that, when I step away, just making sure that I’m mentally in the right place for when the car is right. So holding on to that.
“Fortunately I’ve got these other things that keep me motivated as well, which tap into the whole ecosystem, like the movie for example. Yeah. Just biding my time.”
Although Mercedes team boss Toto Wolff has addressed that it will stop bringing updates to the W14 as it turns attention towards next year, Hamilton says the side will continue to learn about the characteristics of this generation of cars.
“We’re always learning more and more about the characteristics, the air flow, how the car is working in cross winds, how it works in the high-, medium-, and slow corners, how you work with the tires, high-speed, high downforce, mid downforce, low downforce setting,” he explained.
“So you’re constantly learning, it’s constantly data being delivered and analysed. And I’m learning more every time we get in the car, we’re learning more about how we use the tires, we’re learning more about how we can use the engine differently and how we can use fuel.”
Pressed whether there was a certain area Mercedes was striving to improve for 2024, Hamilton added: “I would think more rear end, they have to figure out how to do that.”