Lewis Hamilton finds himself in the midst of an introspective winter, acknowledging the need to refocus and recharge after what he describes as a “killer” season. Hamilton, who experienced his second consecutive winless year, recognizes the importance of mental preparation as he aims to bounce back in the upcoming F1 2024 season.
Reflecting on his challenging season, Hamilton expressed the significance of getting his mindset in the right place during the winter break. Despite a storied career that witnessed victories every year from his debut in 2007 until 2021, the British driver faced a drought, with his last triumph dating back to the penultimate round of the 2021 season in Saudi Arabia.
The 2023 season saw Hamilton finishing third in the Drivers’ standings, marked by occasional frustrations that surfaced throughout the year. Following a disappointing performance at the season opener in Bahrain, Hamilton accused the Mercedes technical team of disregarding his input into the design of the W14 car. The veteran driver’s determination, however, shone through as he secured a record-extending 104th pole position at the Hungarian Grand Prix in July.
Hamilton’s rivalry with former title competitor Max Verstappen intensified during 2023, with Verstappen securing 44 victories over the last three years. In the aftermath of the Japanese Grand Prix in September, Hamilton emphasized the need for Mercedes to undergo “the greatest six months of development ever” to compete with Verstappen’s dominant Red Bull team in the upcoming 2024 season.
Addressing his approach to the winter break, Hamilton acknowledged the importance of staying connected with various departments involved in car development. Despite expressing frustrations with the W14 design, he emphasized the necessity to unplug and give the team the time needed for development. Hamilton stated, “I have to leave the guys to do what they do best. But I’m always going to be like: ‘Hey, I wonder how it’s going?’”
Balancing work and rest, Hamilton highlighted the need to switch off at the end of a demanding season, which concluded with five races in six weeks, including a challenging Las Vegas-Abu Dhabi double header. He revealed his plans, stating, “I’ve got to get my head in the right place, I’ve got to get fit, prepare for the next season and spend some time with my family.”