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F1 Grand Prix of Abu Dhabi - Previews ABU DHABI, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES - NOVEMBER 23: Lewis Hamilton of Great Britain and Mercedes-AMG PETRONAS F1 Team and Toto Wolff of Mercedes-AMG PETRONAS F1 Team looks on during previews ahead of the F1 Grand Prix of Abu Dhabi at Yas Marina Circuit on November 23, 2023 in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates.

Hamilton: Mercedes under ‘huge’ pressure with high expectations to perform in 2024

Since the start of the new regulations, the Silver Arrows have struggled with both of its W13 and W14, whilst rivals Red Bull have nailed the regulations

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Mercedes boss Toto Wolff and the Brackley team are under a “huge amount” of pressure to provide a car capable of winning races in 2024, says Lewis Hamilton.

F1 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix 2023Lewis Hamilton of Mercedes during the Formula 1 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix at Yas Marina Circuit in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates on November 26, 2023.
Hamilton now has had two consecutive seasons winless (Image Credit: Jakub Porzycki/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

The 2023 season was not a great season for the Silver Arrows. The team ended the season winless – only Red Bull and Ferrari won races. The German manufacturers are hoping to have a revival season with its W15 to challenge Red Bull in 2024.

The past two seasons have not been up to Mercedes’ standards. During the turbo hybrid era, the Brackley team had won the constructors’ championship from 2014 to 2021. However, the new ground-effect regulations have not worked out for them – not getting the car right with the W13 and W14.

Whilst the German manufacturers have struggled, Red Bull had made huge steps forward, becoming a dominant team since 2022 – comfortably winning both constructors’ championships.

Huge pressure for Mercedes to deliver in 2024

Hamilton believes that it would be very difficult for his team to get the car wrong for the third consecutive year. His teammate George Russell has already spoke about the confidence with the W15 in the wind tunnel.

With the seven-time world champion thinking that the team can’t get it wrong again, it has put huge amounts of pressure for the team to deliver in 2024.

The 38-year-old believes that this winter break will be “critical” for the Silver Arrows to ensure that they can start challenging for race wins once again.

Hamilton was asked by selected media about how much pressure his boss Toto Wolff and his team are under to deliver next year. The Mercedes driver responded:

“A huge amount for sure. Not just Toto but globally, all of us. Everyone back at the factory, a huge amount of pressure on them.”

“Ultimately, as a boss like Toto, you have to start leaning on people more rather than backing off on them. And how you do that is not easy, as people break at a certain point.

“So how do you do it in a constructive way, in a way that’s inspiring them to continue?

“For me, hopefully some of the race results and drives that I’ve been able to put in, I like to think that sparks inspiration for the guys: like ‘oh we’re almost there’, and that trickles down through the whole system.”

F1 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix 2023Sergio Perez of Red Bull Racing and Lewis Hamilton of Mercedes during the Formula 1 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix at Yas Marina Circuit in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates on November 26, 2023.
Mercedes will be hoping to challenge Red Bull in 2024 (Image Credit: Jakub Porzycki/NurPhoto via Getty Images)
Mercedes lacked car development direction

The W15 will be the third different concept that the team will be trying. However, the seven-time world champion believes that the team can get it right in 2024.

The Brackley team tried a ‘zero sidepod’ design in 2022. However, they reverted back to having sidepods for 2023. However, Hamilton’s encouragement comes from the return of technical director James Allison as the focal point and a new car concept.

“Yes, I do believe we have a North Star now, which I don’t think we’ve had for two years,” he said. “But still getting there is not a straight line.

“There were just certain things, decisions that have been made, that just left you blocked at the end of a road, and you can’t do anything, because of the cost cap and all these different things.

“If you look at the Red Bull, and they’ve done an amazing job, but from Bahrain last year, they had a bouncing issue and fixed it that week.

“It is like if you’re trying to build a wall. It was one brick after the other: brick, brick, brick. Just development, development, development.”

Hamilton believes that his team understands the car a lot better now. The Mercedes driver also believes the team has all the personnel and facilities to get it right in 2024, leaving him “naturally hopeful”.

Do you think Mercedes can return to challenging for race wins in 2024?

Feature Image Credit: James Gasperotti/Ciancaphoto Studio via Getty Images

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