Lewis Hamilton will want nothing more than to "destroy Max Verstappen" when the 2022 Formula 1 season gets underway, says former F1 driver Anthony Davidson. The Mercedes driver has promised to be better than last season after making it clear that his motivation is as high as its ever been.

The 2021 season finale in Abu Dhabi ended in contentious fashion with Verstappen snatching the title away from Hamilton. The Briton screamed that the race result was manipulated, and he disappeared from public view for a long time afterwards. Questions were raised about the seven-time champion's future in the sport, but he dispelled any doubt during Mercedes' W13 launch for the new campaign.

Hamilton looks laser focused on the new season, and Sky F1's Davidson and Karun Chandhok have no doubts about his motivation to claim that record-breaking eighth world title. The Briton's message to his rivals was a simple one: "If you think what you saw at the end of last year was my best, wait until you see this year."

Lewis Hamilton
Max Verstappen won an epic season-long battle with reigning champion Lewis Hamilton ANDREJ ISAKOVIC/AFP

"When Lewis Hamilton comes out with a sentence like that, you have to take notice," Davidson said, as quoted on Sky Sports F1. "He sure is fired up to win this thing once and for all and I think he'll be hard to beat. He's certainly coming into this season with a very bullish mentality."

"There will be nothing more than Lewis wants from this season than to destroy Max Verstappen," he added. "Let's not beat around a bush, he feels absolutely robbed as to what happened last year in Abu Dhabi, he wants to come out with a dominant car and he doesn't even want to see Max on track, I'm sure."

The official pre-season test of the 2022 season gets underway on Thursday, Mar. 10. The pecking order in the new era is still unclear, but Mercedes are widely expected to be challenging upfront owing to their recent dominance.

Lewis Hamilton
Back in business: Lewis Hamilton will race in the season-ending Abu Dhabi Grand Prix Giuseppe CACACE/POOL