Hamilton embarks on his 11th season with Mercedes having joined them from McLaren at the start of 2013.

2023 Mercedes W14: Can they challenge for the title?

The 38-year-old has won six of his seven world titles with the Brackley outfit, winning 82 races.

Despite being the second oldest driver on the grid, Hamilton has no plans to retire, with all the signs pointing towards a new contract extension later this year.

It’s not been all plain-sailing for Hamilton given how he was defeated in 2021 in controversial circumstances in Abu Dhabi to Max Verstappen, while he went winless in 2022 following a difficult year for the team.

Even though the success has dried up over the last 12 months, Wolff believes Hamilton is “in great form” heading into F1 2023.

“How he appears to me is in great form, very positive, motivated, energised, maybe the best so far I’ve seen in those 10 years after the winter,” Wolff said. “He knows what he has win the team, we won eight constructor titles in a row, and I’m not saying anything you don’t know, we got it wrong last year. 

“The resource, the capability is there, we just need to continue to develop like we’ve done last season, so I don’t think it plays in Lewis’ mind any doubt that the team can perform. We will. Eventually.”

2022 was Mercedes’ worst season in 10 years, slumping to a distant third in the constructors’ championship.

Wolff believes a difficult campaign last time out will be good for Mercedes long term.

“I think what’s great in the team is that there is so much energy and so much motivation, because after many successful years you always run the risk that it becomes normal, or the baseline to win, and we were taught a tough lesson last year that you’ve got to just be the best yourself, the best team, in order to fight this phenomenal competition,” he added.

“Therefore getting it wrong last year I believe will be good long-term.”