Lewis Hamilton is preparing for a potential return to the lead as he faces the Bahrain Grand Prix this upcoming weekend, marking the beginning of the 2023 F1 season. Hamilton is aiming to break a new record this season, one of many he’s taken over his long career.
Last season was challenging for the Mercedes team, as they dealt with multiple issues involving their W13 car that struggled with aerodynamic inefficiencies. As a result, they did not win the constructor’s championship for the first time in the hybrid era, and it was also the first season in Hamilton’s career where he did not win a single race.
Despite the team’s struggles, they were able to make significant progress towards the end of the season. Notably, Hamilton’s teammate, George Russell, won his first-ever F1 race at the Brazilian Grand Prix. Russell was dubbed “Mr. Consistency” due to his impressive top-five finishes in 19 out of 22 races.
Hamilton reached a milestone during the 2022 season when he celebrated his 300th grand prix. No driver has ever won a race after entering their 300th F1 race, but Hamilton aims to break that record as he faces off against Red Bull, Ferrari, and potentially even Aston Martin this season. When asked about it in an interview, the seven-time champion confidently stated:
“But there has never been a driver like me either.”
Reflecting on the struggles of the previous season, Hamilton expressed his team’s determination to bounce back – excuse the pun.
“We wanted to hit back after 2021. That was what our drive came from. But at one point, I thought, ‘God, with this car, I really can’t fight for the title.’ If I can say anything about last year, it’s that as a team, we’ve only become more resilient and determined.”
Hamilton’s F1 debut was in 2007, and he has since become one of the most successful F1 drivers in history, with seven championship wins, 103 race wins, 191 podium finishes, 103 pole positions, and 4405.5 points. Only five other drivers have entered over 300 races, including Fernando Alonso, who is joining Aston Martin for the first time in 2023, Kimi Raikkonen, Rubens Barrichello, Michael Schumacher, and Jenson Button.