Hamilton says winter reset allowed him to get 'attacking again' with Mercedes for 2022
Lewis Hamilton has opened up about his winter break and the reset he needed in order to get “attacking” for the season ahead with Mercedes, as the eight-time constructors’ champions launched their 2022 car on Friday.
Hamilton readies for a 10th season with the team and aims to clinch what would be a record eighth Formula 1 drivers’ World Championship, and his seventh with Mercedes. The Briton lost out at the very last moment in 2021 – but said he was soon raring to get back on track for the 2022 campaign.
“I had my family round me, creating great moments,” said Hamilton at the W13 launch. “It eventually got to a point where I felt like I was going to be attacking again coming into another season with Toto [Wolff, Team Principal] and George [Russell, team mate].
“It is exciting watching George come in and bring his energy, I can already feel his energy throughout the team, and I think it is going to be an exciting season. I love doing what I do, and it is such a privilege to work with this large group of people, when you really feel like you are part of a family and a team and you are working towards a common goal, there is no feeling quite like it,” he added.
Team Principal Toto Wolff echoed the Briton's remarks: “I think what he did was absolutely right, to take himself out of the microcosmos of Formula 1 and step aside, and blackout socially. And he has come back in a great mindset. He’s positive, he’s determined and yet again adversity that was thrown at him will make him stronger. And as he said, it’s attack mode.”
As for the potential of a ninth constructors' title, Hamilton said it was the "ultimate goal" for Mercedes, as the team aim to enter the new era of F1 on top – having built their new hardware under the wide-ranging rules changes for 2022.
“Going into this year I have not really set any goals initially,” continued Hamilton. “Naturally every single individual within this team has worked towards the ultimate goal – winning the World Championship and again raising the bar – and doing something that nobody else has ever done before.
“We have done eight [championships] – and now we have to move on to the next one.”
Reflecting on his past nine years at the record-breaking squad, who took the turbo-hybrid (post-2014) era by storm, Hamilton said he has enjoyed an "absolutely phenomenal" journey so far.
“I think it is very surreal to think that is has been 10 years since I came to the factory,” he said. “I was just saying earlier that seeing George have his seat fit, whilst his been in around the team, it feels very natural him being here.
“Seeing the seat fit he was having was very reminiscent of my first seat fit in 2013, and just remembering how exciting that was and what a privilege it was to be a part of the Silver Arrows, and the journey that we have been on, has been absolutely phenomenal.”
The Silver Arrows shook down their W13 at a blustery Silverstone, soon after launching the car they hope will take them to new heights in 2022.