Surprise new team name teased as Mercedes pick ‘strange’ best 2023 race – F1 news round-up

Henry Valantine
Lewis Hamilton in the Mercedes in the pit lane at Spa.

Lewis Hamilton in the pit lane.

Tuesday’s F1 news brought a couple of surprises, not least Sauber teasing that their new name might not actually be their new name yet.

After the FIA’s 2024 entry list showed that Sauber would be reverting to a tweaked version of their original name, a cryptic social media post suggested otherwise.

That, along with F1 news from Mercedes, a Jos Verstappen exclusive and more to come from the best of Tuesday’s headlines.

Sauber tease New Year’s Day announcement for new name

Splitting with Alfa Romeo at the end of the season, Sauber’s new name was listed as ‘Stake F1 Team Kick Sauber’ on the FIA’s entry list for 2024, but this may not actually be the new name come next season.

In a cryptic post on social media, the team wrote: “It seems our recently released team name has been getting a lot of attention…

“While we’re not ready to unveil the final result yet, we are aware of what’s at stake. Rest assured, we’re on a mission to unleash the most exciting team identity this team has ever seen.

“Gone are the days of the short and sweet. We’re cooking up a feast.”

Read more: Sauber tease another new name announcement with fans told to ‘think again’

Mercedes choose ‘strange’ selection for best 2023 race

Toto Wolff was asked for what he felt was Mercedes’ best race of 2023, and while he admitted it was an unusual choice given Lewis Hamilton was disqualified, other factors might explain why.

“This might sound strange because we got disqualified, but Austin!” he replied when asked for his best race of the year.

“We brought an upgrade package that worked, the car was performing well, and we were hunting down the leader.

“You could say, ‘Well, you were disqualified for a car that was too low’, but the genuine performance was there and that was an enjoyable weekend.

“I’ve always said that I’d rather have a fast car that we haven’t tuned in the right way. And obviously, you need to finish.

“But that was the best weekend overall, seeing that the correlation between the wind tunnel and the track was good.”

Read more: Toto Wolff picks a ‘strange’ selection as Mercedes’ best F1 2023 race

Jos Verstappen exclusive: ‘Very loyal’ Max wants to stay with Red Bull for whole career

Jos Verstappen spoke on a broad spectrum of topics regarding son Max and his current enjoyment of Formula 1, and explained among other things that the plan for him is to start and finish within the Red Bull stable, as long as the car remains competitive enough.

“That’s the plan, I think,” Verstappen exclusively told

“To start with Red Bull and finish with Red Bull. That’s what we like. We’re very loyal people.

“They gave us the chance and, as long as they have a good car and with Helmut there – he’s always been a supporter of us. Max has shown that he’s a supporter of Helmut, Red Bull, and people like that. So it would be nice, let’s say.”

This was but one part of a wide-ranging conversation with the former F1 driver, which you can read below.

Read more: Jos Verstappen on Max’s Red Bull loyalty and Lewis Hamilton dream team possibility

Ferrari looking into Las Vegas claim after Carlos Sainz damage

After Carlos Sainz suffered extensive car damage in Las Vegas, which led to a lengthy and costly repair job at the Scuderia, team principal Fred Vasseur confirmed the team have “reopened” the possibility of seeing if the costs can be covered.

Sainz had to take a 10-place grid penalty without a force majeure clause in place in the rules, with a huge amount having to be changed on his SF-23.

“No, no,” he told media at a Ferrari Christmas lunch when asked if he had answers over who was footing the bill for the damage to Sainz’s car.

“You know that, when you open the discussion with the insurance, it’s ages!

“It’s true everywhere, including in F1.

“We will have the time to have the discussion, we reopened the case yesterday or the day before.

“But it would be fair!”

Read more: Fred Vasseur: Ferrari has ‘reopened’ case of who pays for Las Vegas

Exclusive: A look at a possible hydrogen-powered future in motorsport

Hydrogen power will be making its way into the motorsport sphere through the founding of the Extreme H series in 2025.

The fuel cell and battery power would be fully sustainable too, given hydrogen is the most abundant element on the planet, and the FIA, F1, and XH will partner together to form something called a Hydrogen Working Group, to assess the use of hydrogen in combustion engines.

“We aren’t specifically looking to benefit F1, but hydrogen power can work in the future for everything,” Alejandro Agag, XH founder, explained to media including in Chile.

“Will F1 go to hydrogen? I don’t know. They don’t know. But the fact that they want to keep an eye on it shows that they want to keep their options open.

“Formula 1, it likes noise. Combustion of hydrogen makes noise. It’s just another point to keep them interested.”

Read more: Exclusive: How a hydrogen-powered Championship could impact F1’s future