Lewis Hamilton’s tech knowhow questioned amid early Mercedes W15 difficulties – F1 news round-up

Jamie Woodhouse
Lewis Hamilton in the Mercedes garage looking at data.

Lewis Hamilton in the Mercedes garage.

We may have reached the first non-race weekend of F1 2024, but fear not, there are plenty of key headlines to bring you up to speed with.

And arguably the main talking point focuses on Mercedes, with Lewis Hamilton’s understanding of what the W15 needs in order to be improved called into question after a difficult start to the season. Let us take a closer look at this and much more…

Lewis Hamilton input questioned with Mercedes ‘fooling themselves’

Mercedes came up with a new direction of travel for their W15 concept, hoping that this would allow them to mount a title challenge for the first time since 2021.

The early stages of F1 2024 have shown though that a lot of work needs to be done if they are to rise to that challenge, Red Bull having stormed out of the blocks as still F1’s dominant force, with Ferrari providing the closest competition.

It has led Ex-F1 technical director Gary Anderson to suggest Mercedes “are still fooling themselves” with their approach to a race weekend, while he has questioned Hamilton’s thinking on what will make for a fast F1 ground-effect car.

Read more – Lewis Hamilton looking in the wrong place with Mercedes ‘still fooling themselves’

George Russell talks ‘funny’ driver scramble to replace Lewis Hamilton

F1 2024 marks Hamilton’s final season with Mercedes, the team he has raced for since 2013 and with whom he has won six of his seven World Championship titles. Come 2025, he will be a Ferrari driver.

That means there is a major void to fill at Mercedes, a vacancy which Hamilton’s team-mate George Russell has revealed is generating a lot of interest from other drivers, with calls and messages even getting sent his way.

Read more – George Russell amused as F1 drivers scramble for Lewis Hamilton’s Mercedes seat

Pat McAfee’s controversial Max ‘Vanderstoppen’ F1 dominance criticism

For all drivers the task of stopping Red Bull’s Max Verstappen is proving too hot to handle, the three-time World Champion having started his pursuit of a fourth in succession with back-to-back Bahrain and Saudi Arabia victories.

The entertainment value impact naturally is discussed amidst such extreme one-driver dominance, though ESPN, who pay up to a reported $90 million a year to broadcast F1 in the United States, will likely be concerned to have heard Pat McAfee on their network call the series “so boring” in the Verstappen era, while also mispronouncing his name.

Read more – ‘So boring to watch’ – ESPN host gives controversial take on Max ‘Vanderstoppen’ F1 dominance

Felipe Massa’s ‘messy’ Singapore GP highlighted as legal challenge ‘problem’

It is confirmed that Massa has commenced legal proceedings against Formula 1, its governing body the FIA and former F1 chief executive Bernie Ecclestone over the outcome of the 2008 Championship, which Hamilton snatched from Massa on the final lap of the season in Brazil, home turf for Massa.

However, with Massa’s legal push coming in response to the ‘Crashgate’ scandal from that year’s Singapore Grand Prix, former Ferrari team manager Peter Windsor suggests the fact that Massa suffered a botched pit-stop is going to complicate proceedings.

Read more – The ‘problem’ that makes Felipe Massa’s F1 2008 title claim ‘difficult to argue’

Eddie Jordan blasts ’embarrassing to watch’ Alpine

Renault were at the centre of that ‘Crashgate’ scandal, the team these days operating in Formula 1 under their Alpine identity.

F1 2024 though serves as a far cry from those days of contending for race wins, Alpine having started out among the slowest teams on the grid, which has earned them little praise from former F1 team boss Eddie Jordan, who believes they are “wide open for a sale”.

Read more – ‘Floundering, embarrassing’ Alpine branded ‘wide open for a sale’ by Eddie Jordan