Lewis Hamilton says he has “full faith” in his Mercedes Formula 1 team after he saw next year’s W15 in the wind tunnel during an end-of-season visit.

On Thursday Hamilton went to both the racing team in Brackley and the HPP engine division in Brixworth for a final debrief on 2023 before heading for his winter break.

He says the mood in the camp is “positive” after the team secured second place in the constructors’ championship despite a difficult season that saw no wins.

"I've been very busy,” said Hamilton ahead of Friday’s FIA prizegiving gala. “It's been a long, long year, but just tying up all the loose ends, working with the team.

“I was at the team yesterday just thanking everyone for the amazing work they've done throughout the year. It's a special time of the year, you’re winding down and you're seeing where we're going next.”

When asked what mood he’d found at the factory, he said: "The mood is very positive. I think all the members in the team are incredibly grateful to have got second in the constructors' given the challenges that we faced this season. And so it's always quite emotional.

“And I've been with the team for such a long time, but every time you go back to Brixworth and Brackley, and you're reminded of just how big a team is pushing you forward from behind.

“And you see every individual, some people that are new to the team that have joined whilst I've been here, and some that have been way before, and also some that have worked on my engine since my first Grand Prix in F1. It's amazing to see just the progress and the growth.

“And also our team is becoming more and more diverse, which has been really pleasing for me to see, that we are moving in the right direction."

Lewis Hamilton at Abu Dhabi GP 2023

Hamilton used to his visit to check on progress with next year’s W15, although he admitted that it was hard to make an accurate judgement on where the team is with the new car.

"I think it's always difficult,” he said. “I'm not an engineer or a designer. So it's not easy. It's always the exciting time of the year because I have seen the car in the wind tunnel, I always go by the wind tunnel when I go to the factory, to see it evolving in whichever direction it ends up going.

“Literally when I was leaving yesterday again I popped in just to see where we were, and when I come back, it will be again a different animal.

“I have full faith in everyone that's working on it. And I'm hopeful that we will be in a much more competitive position next year."

Hamilton admitted that the 2023 season had been tough, with the team realising from the first run with the W14 that it wasn’t going to be a title-winning car.

"There are ups and downs within all seasons, and there were ups and downs,” he said.

“And from the moment we started driving the car at Silverstone, realising that we're probably not going to be fighting for a championship, and then just refocusing and resetting your goals, and then working towards catching up.

“I think it's just really pleasing to see that we never gave up, and no one in the team gave up. Everyone stayed positive, and just how everyone showed up was super encouraging for me.

“I think we're all always learning more about just appreciating the moment, appreciating each and every single individual in the team and those results we're getting, and when we finally get a podium, we appreciate it perhaps more than ever before.

“And I think obviously [pole in] Budapest was the highlight, a track that I love. And to somehow dethrone the Red Bull for a single moment gave us a lot of hope, knowing that if we just keep pushing, we may get there."

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