Lewis Hamilton makes impression away from F1 as Horner reveals key racing moment – F1 news round-up

Sam Cooper
Lewis Hamilton smiles alongside Christian Horner

Christian Horner and Lewis Hamilton smiling.

With a week to go until Christmas, here is all the F1 news you may have missed on Monday, December 18.

From Christian Horner’s moment of clarity to a young driver joining Max Verstappen’s former teams, there was still plenty of news even deep into the off-season.

So here is everything you may have missed from the F1 world:

Juan Pablo Montoya encounter gives Christian Horner view of Red Bull future

Christian Horner may be one of the best team principals going but before he took his place on the pit wall, he tried desperately to become a driver.

Unfortunately for him, his life preservation instinct was just a little bit too high.

“I had this very vivid moment where I was running in Formula 3000, now the Formula 2 equivalent, and Juan Pablo Montoya [was there].

“We were at Estoril before the season, and there was a long straight. It’s an old-school track, and it had two very fast right-hand corners with a barrier that was about 20 metres from the track.

“It was a sixth gear corner so we’re talking 160/170 miles an hour. I’m coming out of the pit lane that filters onto the track and Montoya comes haring past, he commits to this right-hand turn and I can just see the car moving and dancing around and the rim is trying to pop through the sidewall of the tyre and he’s on opposite lock.

“And he’s got his right foot absolutely planted. I just knew at that point, ‘I can’t do that. I cannot.’

Read more: Christian Horner’s ‘vivid moment’ that made him realise he wasn’t cut out for F1

Young prospect begins same path as Max Verstappen

Max Verstappen’s former team Van Amersfoort can boast nurturing one of the finest F1 talents in history and they will be hoping to do the same next year as Sophia Floersch has signed up to race with the team in F3.

“I am super excited to be back with Van Amersfoort Racing, it feels like coming home,” Floersch said of her full-time return to VAR.

“I have confidence in our ability to progress and deliver strong performances together in the upcoming FIA F3 season.”

Read next: Leading female driver prospect follows in Max Verstappen’s footsteps

Lewis Hamilton named one of the world’s best dressed

Hamilton is no stranger to style having been spotted entering into the paddock in a number of different outfits and his fashion sense has been awarded by Essence.

They named him one of the best-dressed men of the year, seeing him join the likes of Usher, Pharrell Williams and Oklahoma City Thunder basketball player Shai Gilgeous-Alexander.

Read more: Lewis Hamilton fashion sense unlocks alternative title scene after F1 2023 troubles

Helmut Marko details upcoming Christian Horner meeting

After a reported power struggle between the pair was rubbished by all parties, Marko has said he will sit down with Horner to discuss their future.

Both have been with Red Bull since the team’s inception but there were reports of tension late in the 2023 season.

“There are different trends and variants,” he said.

“The decisions are still open – including what I will do next. My current contract runs until the end of 2024.

“Of course, I also have an obligation to Red Bull and Max. Nevertheless, the overall package has to fit. Nothing has been decided yet.”

Read more: Helmut Marko set for imminent Red Bull talks with Christian Horner rumour addressed

Charles Leclerc makes pole position admission

Charles Leclerc has earned the unwanted reputation of not being able to win from pole having done so just four times in his career.

To put that into perspective, Leclerc has won from just 17% of his poles and even Verstappen has a better conversion rate when Leclerc started ahead of him.

Such is the way of things that Leclerc even admitted poles do not feel like a “highlight” anymore.

“Normally it’s the victories,” he told Germany’s Auto Motor und Sport.

“Of course, a pole position feels good, but I’ve already got 23 of them. And of course, the whole thing is clouded by the fact that I already know on Saturday that Sunday will be much more difficult.

“That’s why pole positions are no longer a real highlight. That’s why the best thing for me this year was that I helped to understand the car and transform it in a direction that is better and will lead us back to success in the medium term.

“Especially because it was so difficult to reach this understanding. Usually, it’s always just about finding a few more points of downforce. This time it’s much more complex and it’s much harder to make the connection between a change and the lap time.”

Read more: Charles Leclerc makes pole position declaration after barren winning run