Lewis Hamilton 2024 Saudi Grand Prix - LAT Images for Mercedes

F1 News: Mercedes designed the W15 the way Hamilton wanted it

Lewis Hamilton was very unhappy with the Mercedes W14, thought he was an engineer, and spent countless hours telling the engineers how to design the 2024 W15.

–by Mark Cipolloni–

His biggest complaint was that the driver sat too far forward in the W14 – by a few inches

The result: The W15 is a lemon. The gap between pole and the Mercedes cars in Jeddah was larger this year than last, and Mercedes engineers are at a loss to understand why.

The Mercedes W15 suffers from the same porpoising problem as the W13 and W14 and in order to dial it out they have to raise the ride height of the car and as a result it loses downforce in the high-speed corners.

Red Bull and Ferrari planning Big Upgrades

Dominant Red Bull is rumored to be planning a rather big upgrade for Japan – a home race for engine supplier Honda.

The goal – to further bury its inept competitors.

If successful, Red Bull’s engineers will then turn their focus to the RB21 for 2025 while the other teams struggle to catch up to the RB20.

Lewis Hamilton
Mercedes F1 driver Lewis Hamilton thought he was an engineer and had the W15 designed just the way he wanted it.  Sebastian Kawka photo for Mercedes

After Ferrari started off the 2024 season with the revamped SF-24 F1 car that is closest to Red Bull’s RB20 on the Formula 1 grid, a report from formu1a.uno suggests that the Italians are working on an “extreme” version of the SF-24 in time for the first European round in Imola.

The report stated:

“In fact, there is already an “EVO version” of the SF-24 in the wind tunnel, more advanced than the current 1.0 version’s concept.

“Some minor upgrades are expected for April. Meanwhile, the new team’s aerodynamic look will arrive in May. Unless the updates arrive earlier or later, they should be introduced in Imola.

“This new look in Imola will feature new sidepods and a new floor. These evolutionary steps and interventions are aimed at building upon the good base obtained in winter.

“The primary objective of this SF-24 has been largely achieved since the car is able to operate with a higher load.

Alpine Suffering with low-speed traction, overweight car

Alpine could be about to get their house order, though, with traction being identified by Team Principal Bruno Famin as the main area for improvement. Famin revealed: “One of the biggest complaints of the driver, it’s not a secret, because we can hear it on the radio, it’s the lack of traction. That’s why in Bahrain, where we really need very good traction with the slow corners, it was especially difficult.”

“It was a shock because we were really expecting a difficult start of the season, we knew this, and this is what we said during the launch of our car,” Famin added. “But to be on the last row in the quali was a shock, to be honest. It just confirmed the need of changing in our team, and we made the change.

“We understand the issues. The main issues are quite clear. I think we have to remember also that we were at the first race of the season, which is very long. The car is totally new. We have developments coming. We will work hard in developing that car. But of course, understanding what are the problems is key to solve it. And we have a quite clear idea of what are the problems and we are really working hard.”


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