Lewis Hamilton has declared that he and Mercedes must target a sweep of both Formula 1 championship titles in 2014.
The Englishman, who switched from McLaren to Mercedes at the end of the 2012 season, partnered with teammate Nico Rosberg to help the team finish runner-up in this year’s Constructors’ Championship standings, its best result since returning to the sport as a works outfit.
While the pair managed to net three wins and eight pole positions between them, Hamilton and Rosberg’s combined points tally was still less than what Sebastian Vettel single-handedly scored as he romped to a fourth successive World Championship crown.
No doubt aware of the substantial gap that Mercedes has to overcome to chase down Red Bull Racing, Hamilton remains optimistic that the Brackley team will be well-placed to take advantage of the brand new technical regulations that come into place next year.
“We’ve just finished second in the Constructors’ Championship so of course we don’t want to finish there next year, we want to make the next step,” he told Sky Sports.
“So for everyone and for me the target is to win the World Championship, both championships. Of course if we don’t do it naturally there’ll be some disappointment but we’re not even going to put that negative energy out there.”
In summing up his 2013 season – where his biggest highlight was winning the Hungarian Grand Prix – Hamilton admitted he was disappointed with his inconsistent performances.
Despite finishing two places ahead of teammate Rosberg in the Drivers’ Championship standings, he only visited the podium on five occasions. He dropped to fourth in the standings behind Mark Webber after a poor Grand Prix at Brazil, where he picked up a puncture and a drive-through penalty after colliding with Valtteri Bottas.
“The only real positive this year is the team’s performance – that is huge. Nobody expected that. I couldn’t have hoped for more from them,” Hamilton said after the race.
“But I feel like I should have done more myself.
“It has been an average year in terms of my performances, so I look forward to working hard now and getting to the point where I feel need to be in 2014.”