Lewis Hamilton makes W15 prediction as he compliments ‘faultless’ rival – F1 news round-up

Henry Valantine
Lewis Hamilton alongside Christian Horner at the FIA Prize Giving Gala. F1 news

Lewis Hamilton had warm words for Red Bull, and made a prediction for how the W15 may be in 2024.

Saturday’s F1 news features a selection of headlines from around the sport, as well as a Guinness World Record being officially confirmed.

The FIA Prize Giving Gala took place on Friday night as the World Champions from across the motorsport spectrum were crowned, with Max Verstappen picking up the Drivers’ Championship trophy in Formula 1 for the third time.

Here’s a look at Saturday’s headlines.

Lewis Hamilton makes ‘different animal’ prediction for Mercedes W15

With Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff having said the W15 will appear different to how its recent predecessors, from Lewis Hamilton’s own observations, he is in a positive frame of mind having seen how the car is looking at this stage.

“It’s always an exciting time of the year because I have seen the car in the wind tunnel, I always go by the wind tunnel when I go to the factory, to see it evolving in whichever direction it ends up going,” he explained to media in Baku.

“Literally when I was leaving yesterday I popped in just to see where we were and when I come back, it will be again a different animal.

“But I have full faith in everyone that’s working on it, and hopeful that will be in a much more competitive position next yea

Read next: From ‘concern’ to ‘excitement’, Lewis Hamilton talks Mercedes W15’s evolution

Lewis Hamilton praises ‘faultless’ season from Max Verstappen

At the FIA’s Prize Giving Gala, Hamilton was accepting the third place trophy for his placing in the Drivers’ Championship, but in praising the job Max Verstappen and Red Bull have done, he believes he and Mercedes can challenge them next year.

“For everyone, it has been a very, very long season and very much looking forward to the winter break,” he said.

“We’re working very, very hard on making sure we come back strong next year, I must say a big congratulations to Red Bull, Verstappen and Checo, they’ve done an incredible job this year.

“Max Verstappen was faultless. Max and all of his team really raised the bar and we have a lot of work to close that gap, but I truly do believe that we can close that gap.”

Read next: Lewis Hamilton’s warning to Max Verstappen after his ‘faultless’ season

Take a look inside the world of F1 data

We recently had the chance to see how AWS powers Formula 1’s data and brings us real-time insights into how races are unfolding, with more information about the sport being broadcast than ever before.

Our own Sam Cooper took a look behind the scenes of how the data we see on our screens reaches us, and it’s a fascinating insight.

Read next: Inside the world of data that drives Formula 1

Théo Pourchaire frustrated at lack of F1 chance after taking F2 title

The GP2 or Formula 2 title almost used to be a guarantee of landing a Formula 1 drive, but Théo Pourchaire pointed out he is the third title winner in a row to not land a Formula 1 seat the following season, after Oscar Piastri and Felipe Drugovich.

Sauber announced months ago that Zhou Guanyu had retained his seat for 2024, and the Frenchman is likely to take on Super Formula in Japan for his next challenge.

That said, he expressed his frustration at not being able to get into the top tier immediately – and he hopes that will be able to come in 2025, with another good year.

“Next year, unfortunately, I will not be on the F1 grid, which is obviously a little disappointing, because it’s a dream to be a Formula 1 driver. As F2 Champion, I think I deserved my place, but it is what it is,” he explained at the FIA’s Prize Giving Gala.

“It’s not because you are titled in F2 that you are in F1, but frankly I am disappointed, because I am champion, I have achieved good results, I have done my best.

“The job I was given at the Sauber Academy was to win the championship, and I did that. That’s how it is, I’m just focusing on the future.”

Read next: Formula 2 champion ‘disappointed’ by lack of ‘deserved’ F1 opportunities

McLaren get factory visit to ratify Guinness World Record

After breaking the record for the fastest Formula 1 pit stop of all time in Qatar, Guinness World Records visited the McLaren Technology Centre to make it official.

Their 1.80-second effort on Lando Norris’ car in Lusail beat the 1.82-second stop from Red Bull in Brazil four years ago, and the team posted a picture from Guinness’ visit along with their official certificate.

McLaren defied the odds by making an even faster stop than in the past, with the move to 18-inch wheels in 2022 having made the tyres harder for team members to lift and move – but with hard work, anything is possible.

Read next: McLaren have world record made official by Guinness visit at MTC