As sights slowly switch towards what could loom for F1 2024, it is time to take a look at the key headlines from the world of Formula 1.
Toto Wolff has hinted that the W15 will take Mercedes closer to the wildly-successful Red Bull concept, while George Russell will be hoping for a better season at the wheel of that challenger as he gave an honest assessment of his F1 2023 showing.
All this and more, so it is time to dive into the action…
Toto Wolff teases “more conventional” Mercedes W15
It has long since been clear that Mercedes got it wrong with their unique ‘zero pod’ concept as the migration away from it got underway, the W14 evolving into something of a hybrid between their take and the increasingly followed Red Bull solution.
And now, as Mercedes target a return to title-contending ways in F1 2024, team boss Wolff has alluded to greater Red Bull influence to come on their W15.
“Next year’s car is going to be more conventional in what you would expect from a Formula 1 car, but there are a few interesting details that we have not seen on other cars yet,” Wolff exclusively told PlanetF1.com.
George Russell refuses to blame F1 2023 struggles on bad luck
After outscoring his seven-time World Champion team-mate Lewis Hamilton in 2022, his first season with Mercedes, Russell had hoped to kick on and reach new heights in F1 2023, though rather he took a step backwards.
With only two podium finishes achieved, Russell reflected on the season just gone as one of the worst of his career, and so regardless of whether the Mercedes W15 is a step forward or not, Russell will expect much better from himself.
“I think you can put it down to bad luck once or twice but, when it happens nine or 10 times a season, you can’t blame it on luck,” he told Channel 4.
Jacques Villeneuve’s ‘every sport without a show dies’ sprint verdict
The breaking news today was that Formula 1 has confirmed the six F1 2024 venues which will host sprint action, as Austria, Austin, Brazil and Qatar are joined by newcomers to the scene China and Miami.
A proposal will be put before the F1 Commission for alterations to the sprint format for the new season, with 1997 World Champion Jacques Villeneuve confirming he is a fan of having sprints in Formula 1. He warned those who are not that a sport “dies” when the “show” element goes missing.
“Having a sprint or not a sprint – that doesn’t affect the main race, so I’m all for it because sports need a show to exist,” he told PlanetF1.com.
“Every sport that wasn’t a show has died, or nobody really follows.”
The FIA has moved to confirm that recent media reports of passing of confidential information from a member of FOM to a team principal, is being investigated by the FIA Compliance Department.
The team boss mentioned in said reports was Mercedes’ Toto Wolff.
Mick Schumacher reveals staggeringly late Haas axe call
After a rocky two-year stint with Haas, Schumacher was released by the team following the 2022 campaign, clearing the way for him to join Mercedes as their reserve driver.
And the timing of Haas’ decision left Schumacher with no time left to search for a spot on the F1 2023 grid.
“Obviously, everything happened rather late,” he told the official F1 website.
“I got told the day before the last weekend started that I was not going to be on the grid in 2023. So, it’s a bit late to go and look for other places which obviously isn’t great.