Lewis Hamilton 'confident' Mercedes ready to be strong in year one of F1's new rules era
"There's going to be blow-ups next year all around," Lewis predicts
By James Galloway. Last Updated: 24/12/13 5:14pm
Lewis Hamilton says he heads into 2014 in the belief that Mercedes have the "best group of people" to emerge as a strong force in Formula 1's new engine era.
After four seasons of Red Bull domination, next year's regulations reset is widely being viewed as the best chance for the chasing pack to dethrone the World Champions.
Hamilton has already made clear that challenging for both World Championships is a realistic 2014 goal for Mercedes, the team many have long expected to develop the most competitive turbo powertrain.
And while fully aware of the complex challenges set to be involved in mastering the all-new engine and energy-recovery technology when the testing and racing season begins, the Briton has faith in the Brackley team's capabilities.
"I feel confident with what the guys are doing; you just never know what's going to happen," Hamilton told Sky Sports F1 in the Mercedes season review show.
"The engine's going to be difficult for people. There's going to be blow-ups next year I'm sure all around and how we manage that [is going to be key].
"But I feel that I have the best group of people to be able to do that."
Although Mercedes proved one of the surprise packages of 2013, the Brackley team moving up from fifth to second in the Constructors' Championship, the long-term validation of Hamilton's decision to leave serial winners McLaren has always been expected to come in the first year of the dramatic regulation change.
Hamilton's own 2013, which saw him win the Hungarian GP and finish fourth in the Drivers' Championship, contained both highs and lows and the 28-year-old says he is now finds it easier to move on from disappointing results.
"I've grown a lot over the last years, particularly this year," he admitted.
"It would take me days to get over a kind of race like that [Hamilton was speaking in reference to the Abu Dhabi GP when he spun in Q3 and then finished seventh in the race] but I get over it immediately and move on.
"So whilst in the moment while you're right in front of the camera it looks like I am really hard on myself. I am naturally and I'm really thinking about it days after but I'm over it and want to get to the next race. How can I do it differently? What can I do differently with the car?"
However, Hamilton still reiterated his frustration with his own performance level at times during the season. Asked if his first year at Brackley had lived up to expectations, he replied: "Yeah, I think so. Whether or not I have is questionable."