After the Japanese Grand Prix, Hamilton called on Mercedes to have “the greatest six months of development” after Red Bull stormed to their 15th victory of the year.

While Mercedes have made steady progress in F1 2023, they’ve struggled to close the gap to Red Bull, and risk being overtaken by McLaren.

Speaking on the Sky F1 Podcast, Davidson was asked about Hamilton’s comments and what it means for Mercedes in 2024.

“You hear a level of frustration,” he said. “They’ve just seen Verstappen and Red Bull romp away with it, and destroy the competition. Straight after the race you’re a bit devastated by that but in a pragmatic way looking to improve the car in every way possible. 

“I think he’s aware, the team’s aware and everybody else that Red Bull have the advantage at the moment in a similar way Mercedes having an advantage before this set of regulations. 

“When you’ve got that advantage and you’re winning championships, whether or not you’ve got penalties after cost caps or whatever, it’s given you such a backlog of time to carry on developing next years car you just constantly sit ahead of the competition. 

“They’re scrabbling to try and make headway to catch that gap and you’ve got that buffer, that margin to work on next year’s car. That’s why Lewis is alluding to the fact that we need to work harder than ever to catch that gap because they’re going to make massive gains as well and we need to catch them, not only catch what we’re behind now but potentially where they’re doing to be next year. You’ve got to almost do double the work they can.”

Davidson believes Mercedes will benefit from the fact that this year’s car wasn’t “designed from the ground up” after ditching their concept mid-season with the introduction of sidepods.

“Helped a little bit by the fact the way these new regulations work and you get less wind tunnel time when you keep winning championships,” he continued. “That’s why you’ve seen the likes of Aston Martin and McLaren make a lot of gains this year because of where they finished in last year’s championship. 

“Yes, it will help a little bit for Mercedes in that respect. There are things that they need to sort out with the car. Let’s not forget the car was never designed to look like this year - it was never designed in the first place to have sidepods. 

“They switched that in Monaco. It’s a bit of a cut and shut job - the team would admit that themselves. It wasn't designed from the ground up.”