Mercedes Formula 1 star and seven-time World Champion Lewis Hamilton has refuted claims that he was set to leave the Silver Arrows for the rival team Scuderia Ferrari – the Prancing Horse.
“I don’t plan on being anywhere else,” Hamilton said in a message released by the Mercedes – AMG Petronas F1 team.
After a winless 2022 season and disastrous start to the 2023 season when Mercedes AMG F1 team was thrashed by three teams during the opening race at Sakir in Bahrain last week, speculation has been rife that their star driver was about to throw in the towel.
Speculation was further fueled by Hamilton’s statement to the effect that the team of engineers and especially the car designers did not listen to him and ignore his input as a driver during the development of the 2023 car (W14) that appears worse that the 2022 car (W13) that won only one race in a 22-race calendar.
“I have driven so many cars in my life. I know what a car needs. I know what a car doesn’t need. I think it is really about accountability. It is about owning up and saying, yeah, you know what? We didn’t listen to you. It is not where it needs to be and we’ve got to work,” said Hamilton.
His teammate George Russel who finished the Bahrain grand prix at position 7 two places behind Hamilton at position 5 was more brunt and said Redbull car that was more than 50 seconds up the road would win all the 23 races in the season.
The team boss Toto Wolf described the Sakhir race as the worst day in office and promised radical changes as pundits began speculation that cracks had started to show in the team that has won 7 driver and 8 constructors’ championship.