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Hamilton committed: No plans on leaving Mercedes 'family'


Lewis Hamilton says he still believes "100 per cent" in Mercedes despite the team's current troubles and insists has no plans of leaving his "family".

Mercedes suffered a low-key start to its 2023 campaign, with Hamilton and teammate George Russell finishing a distant fifth and seventh respectively in Bahrain where the Brackley squad's W14 was no match for its Red Bull, Ferrari and even Aston Martin rivals.

Team boss Toto Wolff admitted that Mercedes had gone down a rabbit hole with the zero sidepod concept that it introduced last year and stuck with at the start of this season.

Also, Hamilton was uncharacteristically critical of his team, saying that the latter had not listened to his grievances last year when he encouraged Mercedes to consider a change of concept for 2023.

The Briton's words led pundits to suggest that a change of scenery was perhaps in order for the seven-time world champion whose contract with Mercedes expires at the end of this season.

But in Jeddah on Thursday, ahead of this weekend's Bahrain Grand Prix, Hamilton set the record straight regarding the future.

"In hindsight, looking back, it maybe wasn’t the best choice of words," he admitted.

"But of course there are times you’re not in agreement with certain team members but what’s important is we continue to communicate, we continue to pull together.

"I still have 100 per cent belief in this team. It is my family and I’ve been here a long time, so I don’t plan on going anywhere else."

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Although Mercedes is attacking its problems head-on, Hamilton's view on the team's prospects for 2023 haven't changed since Bahrain.

"We all need a kick, we all need to get on," he said. "The proof is in the pudding.

"We’ve seen where the performance is and how people are extracting the performance and we’ve got to now start making some bold decisions, some big moves in order to close the gap to these guys.

"Otherwise they’re going to… I mean, they will run away with it probably this year unless Ferrari stop them. We’ll wait and see.

"Hopefully at some point during the year we’re hopeful we might be able to close the gap but at that point it will probably be too late in terms of fighting for a championship but we can still turn some heads hopefully."

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