Following an overhaul to the technical regulations, Mercedes’ reign at the top of F1 was brought crashing down with a 2022 car that struggled for performance for much of the season and was only genuinely competitive at a handful of races.
In Mercedes’ under-performing W13, the seven-time world champion also failed to claim a pole position or win a grand prix for the first time in his 16-year career since making his F1 debut in 2007.
Taking to social media after Tuesday’s post-season test in Abu Dhabi, Hamilton said the 2022 season was one to forget.
“I’m pretty sure I speak for all of us when I say I’m glad the season has come to an end,” Hamilton wrote on Instagram. “Won’t miss it!
“Still, I want to thank may team for all the hard work this year. Through it all, we pushed on and learned so much that will get us back to the top next year.
“I have no doubt we’ll come back better. We’ll be back. I’ll be back.”
Wolff fires warning to Red Bull
Mercedes boss Toto Wolff also fired a warning to Mercedes’ rivals, expressing confidence that his team will return to their usual level of competitiveness in F1 2023.
Reflecting on an underwhelming campaign for the eight-time constructors’ world champions, Wolff told Sky Sports: “First of all, we’re gonna put these cars in reception at Braxley and in Brixworth to remind us every single day how difficult it can be. But thank you everyone, this is a character-building season.
“Not a blip for a race but a full season. You keep pushing so hard, the engine came along really well and I’m proud of what we achieved there. On the chassis side there were more bad moments than good ones but the good ones were spectacular like a week ago.
“It made us feel how good it can be and now we’re just pushing forward for next year. It’s raw, it’s bad and it’s okay to feel like this but next year we are back.”