Hamilton endured the worst F1 season of his career in 2022, ending it winless, slumping to sixth in the drivers’ championship. 

The seven-time champion was also beaten in the drivers’ standings by new teammate George Russell - only the third time that this has happened in Hamilton’s F1 career.

Why was Daniel Ricciardo replaced by Oscar Piastri at McLaren for F1 2023?

On paper, it looked like a bad season for Hamilton, but more often than not, he was the quicker of the two Mercedes drivers, particularly in the second half of the year.

Writing in his post-race column, Villeneuve tipped Hamilton for a great F1 2023.

“Next year I expect a lot from Lewis Hamilton, we are going to see the best Lewis yet,” he wrote. “He ended the season without a pole position or a victory. That will have done something to him, I think. 

“And then things will start to get interesting – Mercedes has been able to improve. We saw that in Brazil. In the opening phase of the race, Lewis rightly had to give back that spot, and he struggled a bit on the mediums. 

“Once he’d changed to the hard tyre, he really flew down the track. It’s a shame for him that his race ended the way it did, with the first mechanical breakdown this season.”

The Canadian believes Sergio Perez will need a “strong” 2023 campaign, with the team expected to re-sign Daniel Ricciardo.

“Perez was strong early in the season, after that I thought he was invisible,” he added. “In the final races, he rebounded and was competitive. But over the year as a whole, he could have done better. 2023 will be important for him. 

“Red Bull will soon have Daniel Ricciardo in reserve, although he will also be used a lot for marketing and media activities. He is good at that. They are also talking to Lando Norris, although you shouldn’t place too much significance in that.

“Teams always have to plan ahead. You don’t want to be surprised the way Alpine was. I do think Pérez’s father should stay out of it. In this era of social media, parents have a big voice that is heard everywhere. But that should not happen, they should not get involved. 

“That is also why you see Jos Verstappen being less and less visible, he is being kept out more and more and that is good.”