F1 News: Lewis Hamilton doubles down, Ferrari’s Monza speed explained

With the Italian Grand Prix fading into the rear-view mirror as a race-free weekend beckons, catch up on all the latest F1 news from Wednesday.

With the attention of the day turning to the ‘who said what?’ exploration of the Italian Grand Prix weekend, the main story from Wednesday was unquestionably the ongoing little spat between Mercedes and Red Bull.

But with F1 news and views from around the paddock, let’s take a look at the best of Wednesday’s round-up.

Lewis Hamilton doubles down on downplaying Max Verstappen’s achievements

While Hamilton may be staying in the sport for some time as he chases an elusive eighth world title, statistics mean absolutely nothing to the Mercedes driver.

With Mercedes team boss Toto Wolff making his now-infamous quip that only Wikipedia cares about Max Verstappen’s record-breaking 10 F1 victories in a row, Hamilton said that victories were more evenly shared out during his time at the top of F1 due to having stronger teammates.

But, following on from that, Hamilton has also weighed in on his rival’s achievement, and was reluctant to congratulate Verstappen.

“I mean I don’t care about statistics in general,” he told the media, including PlanetF1.com, in Monza. “Good for him.”

He reiterated his belief that he’s had stronger teammates which meant the wins have been more evenly shared.

“Yeah, I had strong teammates,” he said. “Valtteri [Bottas] was quick a lot of times.”

Read more: Lewis Hamilton issues another savage response to Max Verstappen’s incredible record

Helmut Marko dismisses Mercedes war of words

With the bitterness between Red Bull and Mercedes rearing its head again, two years on from their outright hostile title battle in 2021, Helmut Marko is eager to ensure Red Bull don’t concern themselves with the comments being made in the media by Mercedes figureheads.

“That’s the difference [between Mercedes and us],” he told media over the Italian GP weekend.

“We look at our team to get the best performance from our own team, and we don’t worry about Mercedes as long as they are not a serious competitor for us.

“So we just look after our own thing, we do the best we can and we don’t make up all those kind of stories like they do.”

Read more: Helmut Marko shuts down Mercedes as Red Bull rivalry reignites

Why were Ferrari so fast at their home race?

Having spent most of 2023 as third or fourth-quickest team, Ferrari took a huge step forward for their home race at Monza.

Both Carlos Sainz and Charles Leclerc were able to be true obstacles for the Red Bull drivers to overcome on their way to an eventual 1-2 but, after a difficult 2023, why were Ferrari so quick at the Italian Grand Prix?

PlanetF1.com’s technical writer Uros Radovanovic has delved into the facts and figures from Monza and has come up with some interesting evidence as to why the Scuderia were the ones to watch around the Autodromo.

Read more: Examined: Monza data reveals how Ferrari took the fight to Red Bull

Is the rumoured Hugo Boss sponsorship of AlphaTauri a done deal?

Earlier this week, a report suggested the purported sponsorship deal between AlphaTauri and Hugo Boss is set to be confirmed very soon.

But, according to a source speaking to PlanetF1.com, that report is wide of the mark, and that there hasn’t even been an acknowledgment of whether there are currently negotiations between the Red Bull-owned team and the fashion brand.

Read more: Source: Hugo Boss rebrand ‘close to completion’ rumours are ‘so far from true’

James Vowles wants to start headhunting from rival teams

With the new Williams team boss now firmly in control at Grove, Vowles has hinted that some prominent names from rival teams could be moving across to help with Williams’ upward momentum.

“For the remainder of the team, we’ve started to bulk out,” he told The Mirror. “We haven’t made it all public but there are some good hires coming in.

“It will take time, as always in Formula 1, but across the next 12 months we’ll see some big names from big teams all coming across. That’s what makes me excited. The direction of travel to where we are today is before we’ve even bulked the team out in the way that I’d like to.”

Read more: James Vowles promises ‘big names from big teams’ as Williams recruitment drive continues

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