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Hamilton: Mercedes will win F1 titles again | How will they start season?

Lewis Hamilton believes Mercedes will go on to win more F1 world championships beyond his time at the team.

Hamilton will this week start what will be the 12th and final season of a record-breaking partnership at Mercedes before joining Ferrari in a blockbuster switch, with the seven-time champion having already set out his hopes of ending his time at the team on a high.

Reflecting on his start to 2024 when what he has described as the “option” of joining Ferrari came up in the New Year, Hamilton in Wednesday’s pre-Bahrain GP press conference said: “January, everything kind of turned up upside down when the option came and a lot of time alone trying to make sure you are doing your due diligence and you are making the right decision for yourself.

“I feel like I have made the right decision. I am excited, really excited. I am excited for this year.

“I know this team is going to win another championship and I will be proud to know I have been a part of it because a lot of the things we have put in place in terms of how much more diverse our team is, the processes that we go through, I will in a long haul always be a part of that process and that development the team has gone through.

“But I’m really looking forward to that new challenge.

“Lots of different emotions that you will experience through that challenge, but it’s one I’m really excited about.”

Mercedes dominated F1 from the introduction of the turbo-hybrid engines a decade ago, winning a record eight Constructors’ Championships in a row and seven drivers’ crowns in succession – six of which were achieved by Hamilton.

But the going has proved significantly tougher in first two years of F1’s next huge regulation change with Red Bull sweeping all before them in 2022-2023 and again starting this new season as clear title favourites.

How will Mercedes start the season in Bahrain?

In an attempt to catch up with their rivals, Mercedes have made sizeable changes to their car and concept for 2024 and enjoyed a productive three-day test in Bahrain last week when both Hamilton and George Russell said the new W15 was nicer to drive than its two predecessors.

Ahead of this weekend’s season-opening round, Mercedes remain realistic about their early-season prospects and Hamilton said the car remained very much a work in progress.

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Lewis Hamilton gives his thoughts, after being asked if George Russell could lead Mercedes from next season

“We still have some problems that we’re having to work through and it’s still not perfect, but it’s definitely a better starting place from the past two years,” he said.

“We are relatively happy in that respect.

“We are not where we want to be, we are not competing with the guys at the front, but we will work towards it.”

Sky Sports F1’s live Bahrain GP schedule

Thursday February 29

  • 7.50am: F3 Practice
  • 9am: F2 Practice
  • 11am: Bahrain GP Practice One (session starts at 11.30am)
  • 12.55pm: F3 Qualifying
  • 1.40pm: F2 Qualifying
  • 2.35pm: Bahrain GP Practice Two (session starts at 3pm)
  • 4.15pm: The F1 Show

Friday March 1

  • 10.10am: F3 Sprint Race
  • 12.15pm: Bahrain GP Practice Three (session starts at 12.30pm)
  • 2.10pm: F2 Sprint Race
  • 3.10pm: Bahrain GP Qualifying build-up
  • 6pm: Ted’s Qualifying Notebook

Saturday March 2

  • 8.55am: F3 Feature Race
  • 10.25am: F2 Feature Race
  • 1.30pm: Bahrain GP build-up: Grand Prix Saturday
  • 5pm: Bahrain GP reaction: Chequered Flag
  • 6pm: Ted’s Notebook
  • 6.30pm: Bahrain GP highlights

Watch every round of the new season, starting with the Bahrain Grand Prix from Thursday February 29 to Saturday March 2. Stream every F1 race and more with a NOW Sports Month Membership

Sky News
(c) Sky Sports 2024:Source