Hamilton opens up on plans to remain in F1 ahead of 2023 season
Christian Horner has blanked a question over Mercedes’ new planned upgrades ahead of the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix and refused to say whether he believes them or not. The Silver Arrows revealed new parts would be installed at Imola as early as the opening race of the season.
Lewis Hamilton admitted he has been “counting down the days” to see the new package in action on Friday. However, Horner appears sceptical over the team’s possible performance boost when questioned on the tweaks.
Speaking to the Financial Times, Horner said: “We’re now heading back into the European season where the first round of the big upgrades are coming and if you believe Mercedes, they have a completely new car coming.” When pushed on whether he did believe the Brackley-based squad, Horner cheekily replied: “I’m not going to answer that question”.
Mercedes made minor tweaks at the Azerbaijan Grand Prix but the first European race of the season is when the bulk of changes is expected to be made. Mercedes boss Toto Wolff has confirmed the team will fit a new front suspension next weekend.
Lewis Hamilton isn’t the only one praying for a Mercedes twist in Imola
Aerodynamic tweaks will also be made alongside the installation of a new floor. Hamilton will hope Horner was wrong for having any doubts and that Mercedes will be more or less delivering him a new car as he attempts to turn around a poor start to his and the team’s season.
Hamilton has secured just one podium all season followed by two P5 and P6 finishes. But, Hamilton’s optimism around the new parts is a major contrast to George Russell and Toto Wolff.
Days before the upgrades will be fitted, the pair have appeared to play down expectations in a blow to fans of the Silver Arrows.
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Russell stressed it would be a “long journey” to the top and that the new tools “won’t change the world” for the team. Wolff also admitted it was unlikely the new features would be a “silver bullet” and solve all the team’s problems overnight.
Red Bull have dominated the season so far with five wins from all five events held in 2023. The squad enjoys a healthy advantage over Aston Martin in the championship as their rivals continue to struggle.
But, Horner has refused to get complacent as he warns Mercedes are not Red Bull’s only threat. He added: “Ferrari have upgrades coming and the competition will start to come through.
“It’s still early days, it’s very easy to get carried away with what’s going on here and now, but developments that are coming in the pipeline with other teams I’m sure are only going to converge the grid.”
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