Lewis Hamilton visited the Mercedes factory in Brackley after Japan, and has revealed why he’s excited about F1 2024.
With Mercedes approaching the end of their second season in a row not able to challenge for the title after years of dominance since the start of the hybrid era, all attention is now switching to 2024 and the upcoming W15.
After the Japanese Grand Prix, where neither Mercedes driver was able to make it onto the podium, Hamilton swung by the factory in Brackley to drop in to check on progress for next year and revealed his excitement as he spoke to Sky F1 ahead of the Qatar Grand Prix.
Lewis Hamilton: Seeing the whole team working away inspires me
Asked what he had seen that might be a cause for excitement heading into 2024, a mischievous Hamilton smiled to shake his head and say: “I can’t tell you, it’s all top-secret stuff!”
But the seven-time F1 World Champion opened up on the reasons he’s looking forward to next season, even he can’t quite tell from the initial appearance of the W15’s development in the wind tunnel.
“From my experience in all these years, the first thing is I’m no aerodynamicist,” he said.
“You go into the wind tunnel, it’s always mega exciting, no matter what point of the year you go in. There are always new bits coming. There are bits in the bucket and there’s just stuff being tried all the time.
“I think what excites me is just going into where the aerodynamicists, the whole team, they’re working away. That’s what inspires me.
“I’m like, OK, everyone’s heads down. Everyone’s doing their due diligence. Everyone’s unhappy with where we are and where we’ve been for the past couple of years.
“I know they’re hungry and that, for me, I’m like, ‘OK, these guys I know they’re chasing, they’re doing absolutely everything they can’.
“So I’m able to then bring that into the weekend. No matter what shape it’s looking like, I can’t say whether that’s going to be fast.
“It’s the work that those guys are doing and they know what they’re doing. So I have 100 percent faith in them and they’ll put it together.”
Lewis Hamilton bringing renewed optimism to Qatar GP
With F1 returning to the Lusail Circuit for the first time since Qatar’s inaugural race in 2021, won by Hamilton, he was asked about the mood in the Mercedes camp as the season starts to wind down without the Brackley-based squad tasting victory this year.
“It’s positive, it’s generally positive,” he said.
“I think everyone’s just happy to be here, the weather’s good. Usually the Thursdays, you’ve just recovered from whatever difficult challenges you’ve had in the previous race.
“Then you come here with the optimism. That’s one thing we’re always really good at – turning up with a really optimistic view.