Lewis Hamilton will be up for the challenge right from the beginning of the 2023 F1 season, according to former teammate turned pundit Jenson Button.
The seven-time world champion had an underwhelming campaign by his lofty standards in 2022 as Mercedes wrestled with the troublesome W13. Lewis Hamilton amassed nine podium finishes but went without a win or a pole position for the first time since he started out back in 2007.
In his battle against compatriot George Russell, the 38-year-old also experienced his biggest points deficit against a teammate since the 2011 season, when he was paired with Jenson Button at McLaren.
Heading into 2023, Lewis Hamilton will be raring to go and won’t be thinking about retirement just yet, according to Button. While speaking on Sky Sports, the 2009 F1 world champion said:
“It is something we all go through at some point in our career. It’s a reason why a lot of people retire; they’re not in a winning car anymore. That’s why I left. You can deal with the pressure you put yourself under and the calendar if you’re in a winning car. When you’re not, it’s like ‘I’ve had enough and I want to get out.'”
The 43-year-old stated that Mercedes did win a race towards the end of the season at Interlagos with George Russell at the helm of the W13 and this would serve as encouragement to Hamilton in his pursuit of an eighth world title.
“But the car did win a race last year so you would say at the end of the year they were strong. I think Lewis was on it, his performances were very consistent through mid to end of the season. Very very quick. I think he will start this year flat out, he will be on it from the word go. I look forward to seeing that. It will put a lot of pressure on Russell but it’s a good pairing.”
“I’m going to continue to be me” – Lewis Hamilton’s response to FIA ban on political messages
Lewis Hamilton has revealed that he intends to keep raising his voice despite the FIA’s plans to clamp down on political, religious, and social messaging.
The FIA has amended its rules for drivers using the F1 platform to make a stand for varying reasons, but it has done little to deter Hamilton.
In an interview with Sky Sports, the Mercedes driver said:
“I’m going to continue to be me and continue to fight for things that I am passionate about. I wouldn’t let anybody stop me from doing that. It doesn’t surprise me. But nothing will stop me from speaking on the things that I feel that I’m passionate about and issues that there are. I’ll show up the way I always do.”
Lewis Hamilton has already had plenty of run-ins with the FIA for different reasons, from speaking out about police brutality in the US to his penchant for jewelry, which is forbidden when a driver is out on track.