Red Bull ‘zeropods’ teased as Lewis Hamilton faces ‘awkward’ season – F1 news round-up

Jamie Woodhouse
Lewis Hamilton out of his race suit.

Lewis Hamilton will join up with Ferrari from the 2025 season.

With pre-season testing just four days away, it is time to bring you up to speed with the latest major Formula 1 headlines.

Red Bull brought the curtain down on F1 2024 launch season with their RB20 reveal, but it seems a major Mercedes-esque design changes looms, while Mercedes’ seven-time World Champion Lewis Hamilton is set for a strange final season with the team, so says Max Verstappen.

All this and more in your Saturday fix of Formula 1 news…

Red Bull reportedly readying ‘zeropod’ concept

Since the ground effect regulations were rolled out from 2022, it has become clear that Red Bull’s approach to this F1 era has been the most effective, with Mercedes encountering two seasons of struggle as their unique take on the regulations failed to pay off.

Arguably the most visible aspect of that concept was their unique ‘zeropod’ design, but while the Brackley squad has thrown them on the scrapheap, it is now being reported that Red Bull will unleash a revised take on it for their RB20 as of the Japanese Grand Prix.

Read more: Huge Red Bull RB20 change mooted as Mercedes ‘zeropod’ design in the works – report

Lewis Hamilton set for ‘awkward, weird’ final Mercedes season?

Whatever Red Bull is cooking, Mercedes will hope to take the title fight to them in F1 2024, as Hamilton looks to sign off in style with a record-breaking eighth World Championship ahead of joining Ferrari.

However, Hamilton’s 2021 title rival Verstappen feels the coming season will be awkward for the Brit, who “can’t be included into everything anymore” now that he is Ferrari bound.

Read more: Max Verstappen predicts ‘awkward, weird’ F1 2024 season for Lewis Hamilton

Lewis Hamilton could face ‘hard’ Ferrari integration solo

Sky F1 pundit Martin Brundle made it clear that Hamilton must “integrate” into the Ferrari culture and to do so, claims ideally he would take some Mercedes allies with him to create that safety net.

However, with top figures often subject to gardening leave periods should they exit a team, Brundle thinks this will complicate that plan for Hamilton.

Read more: Lewis Hamilton warned of ‘hard’ Ferrari transition as key Mercedes allies to be blocked

Carlos Sainz does not need to put himself in ‘shop window’

Hamilton’s Ferrari arrival comes at the expense of Sainz, who must now find himself a new home on the grid come 2025.

However, he goes into the new campaign without a sense of needing to market himself to potential suitors, making it clear to media including that: “I don’t think I need a new season to prove that or to show to anyone what I’m capable of.”

Read more: Carlos Sainz hits back at F1 ‘shop window’ claim with early Ferrari exit confirmed

Max Verstappen not closing door on future Ferrari move

While it may appear as though Verstappen is destined to be a Red Bull driver for the whole of his F1 career, Hamilton’s Ferrari bombshell shows that no such thing should ever be safely assumed.

So, Verstappen was asked by media, including, at the launch of Red Bull’s RB20, whether he would ever contemplate joining Ferrari too?

Maybe it is not on the agenda right now, but “never say never”…

Read more: Max Verstappen to follow Lewis Hamilton and join Ferrari? ‘Never say never’

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