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Hamilton piles pressure on Wolff and Mercedes for next season

Hamilton piles pressure on Wolff and Mercedes for next season

Hamilton piles pressure on Wolff and Mercedes for next season

Hamilton piles pressure on Wolff and Mercedes for next season

Lewis Hamilton didn't pull any punches at the end of a torrid 2023 campaign that saw the seven-time world champion fail to record a single win for the second year in a row.

With his team-mate George Russell falling short of tasting success, too, Mercedes have a mountain to climb to overhaul the all-conquering Red Bull next year.

It isn't only the drivers feeling the pressure, with everyone at Mercedes under the spotlight as attention turns to next year’s car.

After going vastly down the wrong avenue for the past two years in terms of design, the team know they can't afford a third failure in a row.

"[There's] a huge amount of pressure for sure. Not just Toto [Wolff] but globally, all of us. Everyone back at the factory, a huge amount of pressure on them," said Hamilton.

"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?"

READ MORE: EXCLUSIVE: Verstappen setup quirk which allows Red Bull to make car even faster

Lewis Hamilton endured a second consecutive winless campaign
Toto Wolff and his Mercedes drivers failed to record a single victory over a miserable 2023

Closing the gap

Mercedes had to dramatically redesign their car concept midway through the 2023 season, and while that jumped them up the order, they remained a long way back from Red Bull's searing pace.

And the world champions were able to start developing their 2024 car earlier than their rivals, which doesn't bode well for the rest of the pack as they try to reel in the successor of the most dominant car in F1 history.

"That gap [to Red Bull]... we are just on massively different trajectories. But I think we understand the car so much better now. We have developed great tools in the background," Hamilton added.

"So naturally, I'm hopeful. But I'm not going to hold my breath."

READ MORE: ‘Very unprofessional' Horner slammed for Hamilton comments

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