Lewis Hamilton has no plans to leave Mercedes despite W14 frustrations and poor start to F1 season

Lewis Hamilton has no plans to leave Mercedes despite his frustration with the design of the new W14 car, which contributed to the team’s disappointing start to the F1 season.

Red Bull dominated the season opener in Bahrain with a one-two as Max Verstappen looked to defend his singles title while Mercedes began their hunt for the Constructors’ Championship, which they lost for the first time in eight years.

2022 champion Verstappen was first, with team-mate Sergio Perez second just behind him, while Hamilton was fifth – 50 seconds behind Verstappen – and his Mercedes team-mate George Russell seventh.

formula 1

Hamilton says Mercedes “didn’t listen” to him over car design concerns.

8/3/2023 at 9:39 p.m

Ahead of Sunday’s Saudi Arabian Grand Prix, there was speculation that Hamilton – a seven-time world champion – was not happy at Mercedes after claiming he had not been listened to during the development of the new car, but he quashed those rumours fast .

“In retrospect, I think it wasn’t exactly the best choice of words,” Hamilton told Sky Sports.

“Of course there are times when you don’t agree with certain team members, but it’s important that we keep communicating, keep pulling together.

“I still believe in this team 100%, it’s my family and I’ve been here a long time so I have no plans to go anywhere else.

“But we all need a kick, we all need to get ahead – the proof is in the pudding, we’ve seen where the power is and how people are extracting the power and we need to start making some bold decisions now, some big steps.” to close the gap on these guys.

“Hopefully at some point during the year we can close the gap but at that point it will probably be too late to contend for a championship but hopefully we can still catch some eyes.”

Hamilton is one of several drivers uncomfortable returning to Saudi Arabia this weekend after last year’s race was dominated by a missile attack by Yemeni rebels.

Drivers have been reassured by Saudi authorities and F1 that their safety is not at risk and measures have been put in place to avoid a repeat of last season’s events.

Although Hamilton declined to answer questions on the subject during Thursday’s media day, he insisted F1 had “a duty” to raise awareness of human rights issues.

Haas driver Kevin Magnussen was one of a few drivers to speak out, claiming that no one liked being there last year.

“Last year was pretty, um, special. Neither of us enjoyed it, he said. “But it’s a different situation now, there’s a different policy … there’s a truce between the two parties that were involved last year and that gives some confidence.”

“Anyway, we go into these places and we just have to deal with it as best we can and get through it.”

“It was scary what happened last year,” added Alpine’s Esteban Ocon. “And none of us ever want to experience anything like that.

“We trust that everyone around us puts us in a safe situation for the race.”

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