Lewis Hamilton says he would rather work with Mercedes to develop a championship winning machine capable of beating Red Bull than simply step into the best car and win the title.
Once again, the 2023 Formula 1 season marked a stark contrast to the dominance that Hamilton and Mercedes had become accustomed to.
For the second consecutive year, the Briton failed to secure a single race victory, while the Brackley squad suffered its first winless campaign since 2011.
Team boss Toto Wolff acknowledged the team's shortcomings and vowed a "revolution" for the 2024 W15 car, a testament to their determination to reclaim their championship throne.
Hamilton, despite his recent setbacks, remains unwavering in his commitment to Mercedes. The seven-time world champion, with his eyes set on an eighth title, sees rebuilding Mercedes into a title-contending force as a far more meaningful achievement than simply stepping into a dominant car.
"I think of the signing, and it has shown my commitment to the team," Hamilton told the media in Abu Dhabi.
"Let's be realistic, every single driver that is racing here dreams of being in a winning car, and I think in my younger days when I hadn't maybe had a lot of success in the McLaren days, it was a lot more attractive.
"When I think about it from a racing perspective, when I moved to this team, I enjoyed moving from a more successful team to a team that hadn't had success with the vision of growing and building with a team, because when we did that, it was such a better feeling."
Hamilton's determination to revive Mercedes' fortunes highlights his enduring loyalty and his sustained belief in the team's potential.
He is not seeking an easy path to victory; he is driven by the desire to earn it, to prove that Mercedes can rise again.
"Every driver here looks at the Red Bull car and would love to drive that car, and I am not saying that I wouldn't love to drive that car and feel how good it is, every driver would feel that,” he added.
"We've had two difficult years, and if we work towards beating that car, it is going to be a way better feeling than stepping into the best car.
"That wouldn't do much for me, in the sense of stepping into the car that is the most dominant of all-time.
"Working with my team to build and be able to beat them, that would be better for my legacy."
The 2024 season will be a defining moment for both Hamilton and Mercedes.
+If they can successfully rebuild their winning machine, it will be a testament to Hamilton's leadership, Wolff's strategic brilliance, and the team's collective resilience.
And for Hamilton, etching his name in history as the architect of Mercedes' resurgence would be a legacy that far surpasses any number of championship titles.