George Russell has not held back in setting his expectations for Mercedes following a disappointing 2022 F1 season.
Mercedes' streak of eight consecutive constructors' titles came to a sudden end as the team finished 244 points shy of Red Bull.
The Silver Arrows' season was defined by problems with porpoising but after a string of strong performances following a late update that included a maiden F1 victory for Russell in São Paulo, the Briton is confident of what can be achieved in 2023.
"The mindset now is we can definitely fight for the championship next year," said the 24-year-old.
"We see no reason why we can't go out there and I think if we hit our targets we have in place over the winter, we will be in a really competitive place.
"Even if we don't start off with the fastest car, I am very confident we will have a car that is a lot closer than it was this year.
"As [team principal] Toto [Wolff] said, we have lost so much development throughout this year just trying to solve the porpoising.
"You compare that to Red Bull, who didn't have the issue, you are seeing now how we are able to close that gap pretty rapidly."
Mercedes motivation building
Russell scored what proved to be Mercedes' only win of the year when leading team-mate Lewis Hamilton to a one-two finish at the São Paulo Grand Prix.
"It is definitely exciting going into next year and there is a huge amount of motivation within the team because you can see that progress, we all feel it within," he added.
"Everyone is just excited for this winter and for when we hit the track in Bahrain."