Lewis Hamilton emotional at Mercedes W15 launch, Ferrari team orders – F1 news round-up

Oliver Harden
Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton speaks to the media after qualifying at the Spanish Grand Prix. Barcelona, June 2023.

Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton speaks to the media after qualifying at the 2023 Spanish Grand Prix.

Wednesday’s F1 news features two car launches, including a milestone moment in the sport’s history: the unveiling of Lewis Hamilton’s last-ever Mercedes Formula 1 car, the W15.

Hamilton admitted to being emotional as the car was revealed to the world, having announced his move to Ferrari for 2025 at the beginning of this month.

With Red Bull poised to complete 2024 launch season on Thursday, here’s today’s action-packed round-up…

Lewis Hamilton admits ‘very surreal’ feeling as Mercedes W15 unveiled

Hamilton admitted it was “emotional and very surreal” to watch the launch of the Mercedes W15 ahead of his big move to Ferrari for the F1 2025 season.

Mercedes unveiled the W15 car on Wednesday morning less than two weeks after Hamilton announced that he will leave the team at the end of 2024.

Hamilton’s exit will bring an end to the most successful team-driver partnership in F1 history, with the British driver winning six of his seven World Championships with Mercedes having arrived from McLaren at the beginning of 2013.

Read more: Lewis Hamilton in ’emotional’ admission as last Mercedes launched before Ferrari switch

Mercedes ‘buzz is back’ after two years in F1 wilderness

Toto Wolff has said the feeling within Mercedes is very different from the last two years when they “got it wrong” with the new regulations.

The W15 marks a complete reset for the Brackley-based squad after setting off in the wrong concept direction with the 2022 and ’23 cars, with the team restricted to just a single win over the last two seasons.

Having identified a new direction to take for 2024, Wolff is hopeful the new car will right some of the wrongs of the past two years and that the feeling within the team has changed over the winter.

Read more: Mercedes explain why ‘buzz is back’ after two years of ‘getting it wrong’

Carlos Sainz issues clear Ferrari team orders stance for 2024

Carlos Sainz, the driver Hamilton will replace at Ferrari next year, has issued a clear stance on team orders for 2024 ahead of his final season in red.

Both Sainz and Hamilton are in the unusual position of knowing they will leave their current teams at the end of this year before the new season even begins.

With Ferrari embroiled in several team orders sagas over the years, Sainz has made it very clear how he will respond if the situation raises its ugly head in 2024.

Read more: Carlos Sainz delivers clear Ferrari-Charles Leclerc team orders verdict with exit sealed

Lando Norris reveals ambitious target after McLaren MCL38 shakedown

Mercedes were not alone in launching a 2024 car on Wednesday with McLaren unveiling the new MCL38 too.

Like Merc, McLaren also took to the track at a wet Silverstone to perform a shakedown with their car.

Lando Norris must have been excited by what he found out on the circuit, setting an ambitious target for the start of the 2024 season in Bahrain.

Read more: Lando Norris sets bold McLaren target for F1 2024 after first MCL38 laps

McLaren call for FIA action on customer teams

McLaren boss Zak Brown has urged F1’s governing body the FIA to act on blocking close bonds between teams like that between Red Bull and their junior outfit.

The new-look RB outfit are expected to be one of the most-improved teams of 2024 having strengthened their links to reigning Constructors’ Champions Red Bull.

Brown has been a vocal critic of such arrangements and has called for the FIA to intervene for the sake of F1’s best interests.

Read more: McLaren urge FIA to act on key Red Bull relationship with ‘wider F1 interest’ highlighted