Lewis Hamilton has experienced the season in 2013 which many predicted for his first year with Mercedes. He managed to claim his first victory with the Brackley outfit in Hungary, yet has been unable to perform at the level which led to stunning campaigns in 2007 and his title winning season in 2008. However, Hamilton has declared that he is about to head into a winter dictated by a strict training regime – the like of which he has not undertaken since the winter prior to the 2007 season. Lewis is determined to make 2014 a major success.
“I need to be working with the engineers in the factory, and I feel like I am going to have a winter like in 2006 going to 2007,” the 28-year-old told Autosport. “This year has been an average year in terms of my performance, so I need to work hard and get myself to the point where I can feel I can do more.”
Hamilton’s season highlight was undoubtedly his magnificent victory in Hungary. The win came on a weekend where Sebastian Vettel and Red Bull were the strongest force during the race, meaning that the victory carried even greater weight. Of course, good fortune in the form of Button holding up Vettel throughout the second stint played into Lewis’ hands, yet every great driver has received fortunate advantages. It was the one victory which many had predicted, despite Lewis’ early season claims that the maiden Mercedes win would not come in his first season at Brackley. The pace of the W04 heightened everyone’s expectations for the season from as early as Melbourne. However, Lewis was never able to challenge Sebastian for supremacy.
In a confident tone, Lewis stated; “Next year is different. We have to manage the braking, manage the KERS, manage the fuel, and then the tyres are going to be something else too. They are an unknown at the moment. Even though we are on the simulator, we don’t have a tyre model for next year so it is difficult to know if the driving style is that much different.” The challenges of 2014 will amplify the drivers ability – whether it is managing four times the level of torque, or retaining tyre life, the best prepared will undoubtedly stand out from the crowd. Hamilton wants to be regarded as one of the best and if he is to mount a genuine title challenge next season, he not only needs a good car, but the Lewis of 2007 and 2008 needs to return and shine true.